Western European Passenger Car Market Expands

China, Japan, India, Brazil and Russia continue growth – US market contracts

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According to statistics released by the German Association of the Automotive Industry, sales of passenger cars in Western Europe and China increased in July – Russia and India actually recorded double-digit growth rates – while the US light vehicle market contracted.

In Western Europe (EU15 + EFTA) the number of new passenger car registrations added 2 percent in July to reach around 1.1 million new cars. Among the five largest national markets, France enjoyed the strongest growth of 11 percent. The markets also developed positively in Italy (+6 percent), Spain (+2 percent) and Germany (+2 percent). In the United Kingdom, by contrast, sales fell in July for the fourth time in succession (-9 percent). The Western European passenger car market grew overall during the first seven months of this year by around 4 percent to 8.9 million units.

On the US market, 1.4 million light vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks) were sold in July (-7 percent). Demand for passenger cars fell once again (-15 percent). However, sales of light trucks also decreased – for the first time since September 2013 (-2 percent). The accumulated light vehicle market since the beginning of the year has lost 3 percent, falling to 9.8 million units, but starting from a high level.

July saw the Chinese passenger car market continue its expansion. The sales volume came to 1.7 million new cars, with year-on-year growth of about 6 percent. Since January, passenger car sales have risen by 3 percent, reaching an accumulated total of 12.6 million vehicles.

Following contraction on the Indian market in June caused by a current tax reform, the market returned to a strong dynamic. Passenger car sales climbed to 299,000 units, i.e. 15 percent up on July 2016. Totaling 1.8 million units, the market remains clearly in the growth zone (year-to-date rise of 9 percent).

In Japan, new registrations of passenger cars increased in July for the ninth time in succession. The number of vehicles registered amounted to 357,300, which was 3 percent up on the same month last year. During the first seven months of 2017 sales rose by 9 percent to 2.7 million new cars.

The positive trend also continued in Russia. At 19 percent, growth was well into double figures for the third month in succession. The market volume came to 129,700 light vehicles in July. This means that since January a total of 848,200 new vehicles have been sold – 9 percent more than in the same period in 2016.

The Brazilian light vehicle market also expanded in July, rising by 2 percent to 179,000 vehicles. From January to July 1.2 million units were sold, which was a year-on-year rise of 4 percent.


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