November 2020: Car sales increased in China, Japan, Brazil, and India but were weaker in the USA and Europe, as global markets diverge on developments of the pandemic.
January to November 2020: car sales were weaker in all major markets of the world thus far this year. However, in China, car sales have increased for the past seven months with year-to-date figures down by only 7.7%. All other major global car market contracted by double-digits thus far in 2020. In November, new passenger vehicle registrations increased in Japan, China, Brazil, and India but the European and American markets weakened again.
Global Worldwide Car Sales in 2020 (January to November)
According to global car sales data released by the VDA for major international car markets, new car sales were as follows in November 2020 and the first eleven months of 2020:
|Region||Nov 2020||% Change||1-11/2020||% Change|
|*Light vehicles |
China — Strong Car Sales Growth in November 2020
China, the world’s largest single-country car market, increased car sales in November 2020 by nearly 12%. This was the seventh consecutive month of car sales increases in China and confirmed strong growth in the Chinese economy once the Covid19 virus seemed to be under control.
However, the strong growth in these seven months was not sufficient to completely compensate for the 45% collapse of the Chinese new car market during the first quarter of 2020. Thus far in 2020, the Chinese car market contracted by 7.7% — the only major global market with sales down by less than 10%.
Japan — Stronger Car Sales in November 2020
In November 2020, new passenger vehicle registrations in Japan increased for the second consecutive month. In November 2020, sales were up 6.7% and thus not as much as the 30% recorded in October 2020. However, in both months the increases were largely as a result of weak sales in October 2019 when an increase in sales taxes had many purchases brought forward.
Thus far in 2020, the Japanese new car market contracted by 13% — only China performed better.
India — Again Stronger Car Sales in November 2020
The Indian new car market expanded in November 2020 by 4.6% for the fourth consecutive month of growth. However, the increase in car sales was lower than the double-digit growth in the preceding three months.
During the first eleven months of 2020, the Indian new car market contracted by 22%.
Brazil — Strong Vehicle Sales in November 2020
Light vehicle sales in Brazil increased by 7.4% in November 2020. However, thus far this year, the Brazilian new car market contracted by 28.7% — the weakest performance of any major car market worldwide.
Europe — Again Weaker Car Sales
In November 2020, new passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union (EU), EFTA, and the UK, contracted by 13.5% as many countries again went into some form of lockdown. The large German market contracted by only 3%. Sales in Italy were down 8% but the French and British new car markets shrunk by 27%.
Thus far in 2020, new car sales in Europe were down 26.1% allowing battery-electric vehicles to take a larger market share and helping manufacturers to reduce potential fines for too high CO2 emissions.
USA — Weak Vehicle Sales in November 2020
The US light vehicle market was the weakest performer of all major car markets worldwide in November 2020. Political uncertainty following the election, three fewer sales days, and the continued spread of the Coronavirus weighed heavily on the market. Sales of light trucks were down 13% while regular car sales were 21% weaker.
Thus far in 2020, the US light vehicle contracted by 17% to 12,842,100 vehicles.