The major international automotive markets were boosted by strong growth in the first half of 2016 in Western Europe, which posted a 9% gain in vehicle sales to reach 7.5 million units along with a 4% increase in light vehicle (LV) production to 9.860 million.
China reported production and sales of automobiles rising to 12.9 and 12.8 million units respectively, increases of 6.5% and 8.1% year-on-year. LV production in North America overall was up 2.6% to 8.99 million units with LV production in the USA up 2.4% to 6.1 million units, Canada up 13.3% to 1.24 million, however Mexico slipping by 3.6% to 1.66 million.
India’s automobile market grew by a solid 4% to 1.4 million in the six months since the beginning of 2016. In Japan car production was down by 2.4% to 3.8 million in the first six months and domestic sales were 5.3% lower at 2.1 million units. South Korea also recorded a decline in production in the first half, dipping 5.5% to 2.2 million units.
Russia and Brazil remain problem markets with sales in Russia down by 14% to 672,140 units, the worst half-year result since 2003. Brazil’s weak economy contributed to a 25% decline in new car sales, with 952,200 units sold in the first half of 2016.