2022 (Full Year) International: Worldwide Car Sales

In 2022, international car sales were flat with China the largest single-country market worldwide and India the fastest-growing major global vehicle market.

In 2022, international car sales were flat with China the largest single-country market worldwide and India the fastest-growing major global market.

Worldwide car sales in full-year 2022 were flat but the only major international markets recording growth were India and China. China remained by far the largest single-country car market in the world by selling almost as many vehicles as in the European and US markets combined. The Japanese car market was weaker, the Russian market collapsed, while sales in Brazil were flat. The international outlook for car sales in 2023 is positive although supply-chain shortages may continue to disrupt production.

Latest Worldwide Car Sales: 2023Q1, Half Year, Q3, Full Year; 2022 — Q1, Full Year; 2021 — Q1, Half Year, Full Year; 2020 — Full Year

Annual Worldwide Car Sales (2013-2022)

Annual car sales in various major markets monitored by the VDA were as follows between 2013 and 2022:


Note: *Light vehicles. **Europe includes the EU, EFTA & UK.

Passenger vehicle sales in the largest car markets in the world contracted by only 0.05% in 2022 compared to sales in 2021. Combined worldwide car sales in the largest global markets were at 58 million cars still 11% lower than in 2019 before Covid and supply-chain problems disrupted international car production. Combined car sales for these large global markets are still around 10 million vehicles lower than during the peaks in 2018 and 2017.

The VDA predicts total worldwide car sales to increase by 4% in 2023 to 74 million vehicles.

Worldwide Car Sales in 2022 (Full Year)

Worldwide car sales in the largest passenger vehicle markets in the world were as follows in the full-year 2022 according to the VDA:

Europe (EU+UK+EFTA)11,286,90011,774,900-4.1
*Light vehicles
Source: VDA

China — Largest Car Market in 2022 (Full Year)

In 2022, China was again by far the largest single-country car market in the world. Chinese car sales in 2022 increased by 10% to over 23 million vehicles — almost the same as the European and US markets combined. Covid-related lockdowns dampened demand and restricted production especially during the first quarter of 2022 but growth was strong during the mid-year. Tax relief on many car purchases during the second half of 2022 also contributed to an expansion in sales.

China was the only country in the top three markets to record an increase in car sales in 2022. The Chinese car market is again nearing the sales levels of 2016 to 2018 when car sales were at record levels in China.

India — Fastest Growing Major Car Market in the World in 2022

Car sales in India increased by nearly a quarter in 2022 making the Indian new car market the fastest-growing large vehicle market in the world. At nearly 3.8 million vehicles, the Indian car market reached a new record high in 2022 and was larger than the Japanese market for the first year ever.

European Car Sales at Record Lows in 2022

In 2022, new passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union, the UK, and EFTA countries contracted by 4.1% to 11,286,939 cars. This was the third consecutive year of weaker sales with the total European new car market in 2022 more than 3.5 million vehicles smaller than in 2019.

In the European Union, new passenger vehicle registrations contracted by an even stronger 4.6% to only 9,255,930 cars in 2022 — the weakest car sales in the EU since 1992 when only 9.2 million vehicles were registered.

New passenger vehicle registrations in Germany increased by only 1%, while the British market was also flat (-2%) and the other large European markets noticeably weaker: -8% in France, -10% in Italy, and -5% in Spain. Production problems and many manufacturers prioritizing profits above volume are probably more to blame for lower sales than a lack in consumer demand.

Weaker Light Vehicle Sales in the USA in 2022

In the USA, light vehicle sales (passenger cars, trucks, SUVs) in 2022 contracted by 8% to 13.7 million vehicles, around 3 million fewer cars than were sold in pre-Covid years. As in recent years, traditional passenger cars (-15%) performed weaker than trucks and SUVs (-6%). Production problems remained a major factor with different brands reporting strong demand but a lack of vehicles.

Continued Weak Car Sales in Japan in 2022 (Full Year)

New passenger vehicle registrations in Japan contracted in full-year 2022 for the fourth consecutive year. The Japanese new car market contracted by 6% to 3.4 million passenger vehicles.

Very Weak Car Sales in Russia in 2022

Light vehicle sales in Russia were down by nearly 60% in 2022. Since the start of the Ukraine war in March, many international carmakers withdrew from the Russian market.

Flat Light Vehicle Sales in Brazil in 2022 (Full Year)

Although light vehicle sales in Brazil contracted by only 0.8%, the market remained very weak. In 2022, the Brazilian new car market was below two million units for the third consecutive year and more than a quarter smaller than in pre-Covid years. In 2013, the Brazilian market was 1.6 million sales higher.

Latest Worldwide Car Sales: 2023Q1, Half Year, Q3, Full Year; 2022 — Q1, Full Year; 2021 — Q1, Half Year, Full Year; 2020 — Full Year