The latest figures reveal that most global automotive markets continued to show growth in the first half of 2014. North American vehicle production moved 4.3% ahead year-on-year to 8.795 million units, of which light vehicle production showed 4% growth to 8.567 million units. In the USA light vehicle production increased by 4.4% to 5.8 million units, Mexico increased by 7.2% to 1.586 million, but Canada saw a small fall of 1.9% to 1.18 million units. Light vehicle sales in the USA expanded by 4% to 8.1 million units in the first six months of 2014.
In Europe (EU28+EFTA), car sales increased by 6.2% in the first half of the year to 6.852 million units, helped by strong sales in the UK (+11%) and Spain (+18%) and more moderate increases in France (+3%), Germany (+2%) and Italy (+4%). Germany, Europe’s largest car producing country, saw production increase by 6% to 2.911 million units in the first six months.
Russia continues to experience a shrinking automotive market with an 8% decline in sales to 1.229 million units compared with the same period last year.
Brazil and India also saw declining sales at 1.584 million units (-7.3%) and 1.290 million units (-3.2%) respectively. However, China reported a rise of 12.1% in passenger car production to 9.708 million year-on-year and an 11.2% rise in car sales to 9.634 million.
Japan saw a 9.1% increase in passenger car production to 4.320 million driven by a 25.6% surge in production of mini-cars (under 660cc) to 1.012 million in the first half of 2014. Domestic demand for new cars in Japan rose by 11% to 2.6 million in the first half year. Korea reported a 2.6% rise in automobile production to 2.243 million units in the six months to end June with exports increasing by just 0.4% to 1.596 million due in the main to a strong Won and weak markets in Eastern Europe.
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