In May 2019, new car sales increased in India and Japan, were flat in Europe and the USA, and weaker in Russia, China and India.
January to May 2019: Brazil was the only major car market with growth during the first five months of 2019 with sales up by 11%. New passenger vehicle registrations in Japan were flat while the European, US, and Russian markets contracted by around 2%. In India, car sales were down by 9% thus far in 2019 while China remained the world’s largest single-country car market by far despite a 15% contractions.
Worldwide Car Sales in 2019 (May)
New light and passenger vehicle registrations in various major car markets around the world monitored by the VDA were as follows in May and the first five months of 2019:
|Region||May 2019||% Change||1-5/2019||% Change|
Continued Growth in the Brazilian Car Market in 2019
Brazil was once again the fastest growing major new car market in the world in May 2019 with sales up by a fifth. Although the high figure for May was at least partly due to May 2018 being a very weak month due to national strikes, the Brazilian new car market expanded strongly for most of the year. During the first five months of 2019, new car sales in Brazil increased by 11% to just over a million units – the only significantly expanding major car market in the world.
Stronger Car Sales in Japan in May 2019
New passenger vehicle registrations in Japan increased by 6.4% in May 2019 – apart from Brazil the only significant growing car market.
However, during the first five months of 2019, the Japanese new car market expanded by only 0.1% to just below two million vehicles.
Europe – Flat Car Sales in May 2019
New passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union and EFTA countries increased by only 10,000 cars in May 2019 compared to May 2018. this followed on a similarly flat April 2019 with both months somewhat influenced by the timing of Easter. Germany showed strong growth (+9%) while the British (-5%) and Spanish (-7%) car markets were weaker.
Thus far in 2019, the European new car market contracted by 2% to just below 7 million vehicles.
USA – Flat Light Vehicle Sales in May 2019
In May 2019, light vehicle sales in the US contracted by a moderate 0.5% to 1,579,200 vehicles – for the month the largest car market in the world. Light truck sales increased by 5% while traditional passenger car sales were 2% weaker.
During the first five months of 2019, the US new car market contracted by 2.1% to nearly 6.9 million vehicles – around 50,000 units smaller than the EU market.
Russia – Weaker Car Sales in May 2019
Light vehicle sales in Russia were 6.7% lower in Russia in May 2019. Thus far this year the Russian new car market was down 2.2%.
China – Weaker Car Sales in May 2019
The Chinese new car market contracted by 16.6% in May 2019 to 1,534,800 vehicles – just smaller than the US new car market. However, thus far this year, the Chinese car market remained by far the largest in the world despite a 15% contraction.
The Chinese new car market was heavily influenced by the uncertainty of trade regulations with the US. As a result, the VDA lowered its growth expectations of the Chinese new car market for the full year 2019 from flat to -4% for a market of 22.3 million vehicles.
India – Weak Car Sales in May 2019
In May 2019 the Indian new car market contracted by a fifth largely due to very high numbers a year ago. The market was also influenced by elections.
Thus far in 2019, new car sales in India were down by 9%.