2023 (Full Year) International: Worldwide Car Sales

In 2023, car sales worldwide increased in all major countries with China selling a record 25.8 million vehicles and Mexico the fastest growing large market.

In 2023, car sales worldwide increased in all major countries with China selling a record 25 million vehicles and Mexico the fastest growing market.
漏 Bentley

Worldwide car sales in full-year 2023: car sales in China was at a record 25.8 million vehicles — over 10 million vehicles more than in the USA. India was again the third largest new car market followed by Japan. New passenger vehicle registrations in Europe increased after four years of contractions. Mexico was the fastest growing large new car market in the world in 2023 with sales up by a quarter.

Latest Worldwide Car Sales — 2024: (Q1); 2023: (Q1, Half Year, Q3, Full Year); 2022: (Q1, Full Year); 2021: (Q1, Half Year, Full Year); 2020

Annual Worldwide Car Sales (2013-2023)

Annual car sales in various major markets monitored by the VDA were as follows between 2013 and 2023:

Region20232022202120202019201820172016201520142013
Europe (EU+UK+EFTA)12,847,50011,286,90011,774,90011,961,20015,805,80015,624,50015,631,70015,131,70014,201,90013,006,50012,308,200
USA*15,457,40013,734,20014,913,70014,450,80016,965,20017,215,20017,134,70017,465,00017,386,30016,435,30015,531,600
Japan3,992,7003,448,3003,675,7003,810,0004,301,1004,391,2004,386,4004,146,5004,215,9004,699,6004,562,300
Brazil*2,180,2001,960,5001,977,1001,954,8002,665,6002,475,4002,176,0001,988,6002,480,5003,333,4003,579,900
India4,101,7003,792,4003,082,4002,435,1002,962,1003,394,7003,229,1002,966,6002,772,7002,570,5002,554,000
China25,798,00023,240,50021,090,20019,790,00021,045,00023,256,30024,171,40023,693,40020,047,20018,368,90016,303,700
Mexico*1,360,100

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

In 2023, passenger vehicle sales in all the largest car markets in the world increased with China setting a new annual record while India was again the third largest single country car market in the world. The VDA discontinued publishing sales figures for Russia and added the fast-growing Mexican market instead.

The greater availability of cars following the disruptions of recent years (COVID, wars, shipping delays, and component shortages) largely contributed to the increase in sales. The VDA has not yet provided an outlook for 2024 other than the expectation that market conditions in especially Europe are likely to remain challenging.

Worldwide Car Sales in 2023 (Full Year)

Worldwide car sales in the largest passenger vehicle markets in the world were as follows in the full-year 2023 according to the VDA:

Region20232022%23/22
Europe (EU+UK+EFTA)12,847,50011,286,90013.7
USA*15,457,40013,734,20012.4
Mexico*1,360,10025.4
Japan3,992,7003,448,30015.8
Brazil*2,180,2001,960,50011.2
India4,101,7003,792,4008.1
China25,798,00023,240,50011.0
*Light vehicles
Source: VDA

China — Record Car Sales in the Largest Car Market in 2023

In 2023, China not only remained by far the largest single-country car market in the world but also had record sales when the Chinese automobile market exceeded 25 million vehicles for the first time. Chinese car sales in 2023 increased by 11% to 25,798,00 vehicles — over 10 million more than in the USA. The previous record year for car sales in China was 2017 when 24,171,400 passenger vehicles were registered for the first time.

The growth of car sales in China in 2023 was somewhat out of step with the rest of the Chinese economy and carmakers fear that Chinese excess production may entr the export market in 2024. However, the record month for sales ever in China was December 2023 with almost 2.8 million sales (+24%).

India — Third Largest Car Market in the World in 2023

Car sales in India increased by only 8.1% in 2023 but it was sufficient to maintain its position as the third largest new car market in the world for the second consecutive year. The Indian new ar market exceeded 4 million vehicles for the first time but the gap to Japan shrunk.

European Car Sales in 2023

In 2023, new passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union, the UK, and EFTA countries increased by 13.7% to 12,847,500 cars. However, this increased followed the record low sales of 2022 and four years of contractions. The European new car market was almost three million vehicles smaller than in 2019.

Weaker Light Vehicle Sales in the USA in 2023

In the USA, light vehicle sales (passenger cars, trucks, SUVs) in 2023 increasede by 12.4% to 15.5 million vehicles, around 1.5 million fewer cars than were sold in pre-Covid years. Most major brands reported higher sales.

Mexico — Fastest Growing Large Car Market Worldwide in 2023

The fastest growing large new car market in the world in 2023 was Mexico where sales were up by a quarter to 1,360,100 light passenger vehicles. The Mexican new car market was thus 3% stronger than in 2019.

Higher Car Sales in Japan in 2023 (Full Year)

New passenger vehicle registrations in Japan increased by a strong 16% in full-year 2023 to just less than 4 million cars. The Japanese car market thus narrowed the gap to India but was only the fourth largest in the world for the second consecutive year. Car sales in Japan were still around 7% lower than in 2019.

Light Vehicle Sales in Brazil in 2023 (Full Year)

Light vehicle sales in Brazil increased by 11% to almsot 2.2 million vehicles in 2023. The Brazilian new car market was still almost a fifth smaller than in 2019.

Latest Worldwide Car Sales — 2024: (Q1); 2023: (Q1, Half Year, Q3, Full Year); 2022: (Q1, Full Year); 2021: (Q1, Half Year, Full Year); 2020

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience in online writing. His best-selling cars website has been reporting car sales statistics since 2008 with classic car auction prices focusing on the most expensive automobiles sold at public auctions in the past decade. He also owns the travel websites European-Traveler.com and Lake Geneva Switzerland. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Finance from the University of London.