New car registrations in the European Union and EFTA markets increased by 5.5% to 1.19 million units in September 2013 compared with the same month last year, stated ACEA. Growth in the UK (12%), France (3%) and Spain (29%) helped to drive September’s sales increase. The high increase in Spain was due to Government continuing to provide significant discounts on trade-ins of older cars. Greece, Ireland and Portugal all saw double digit increases in sales but sales in Germany were down 1% and in Italy they were down by 3%.
ACEA is forecasting that European car sales were still on track to reach a two-decade low in 2013 having fallen 4% to 9.34 million units in the first nine months of 2013. However, with the eurozone coming out of an 18 month long recession in the second quarter of 2013 there is more confidence and optimism that the European car market will continue to grow in the months ahead.
The outlook for the Russian car market remains difficult with vehicle sales falling by 5% in September after a 10% drop in August, according to the Association of European Businesses (AEB). Car sales have been falling as Russia’s $2 trillion economy has faltered and the AEB recently cut its sales forecast for the full year 2013 to 2.8 million vehicles, a decrease of 5%.
North America and Brazil
Car production increases in the USA continued to spearhead growth in the North American vehicle sector. Total light vehicle production in the USA increased by 22.2% in September 2013 to 941,246 units compared with the same month last year, whilst Canada saw a modest growth of 1.3% to 210,144 units, and Mexico light vehicle production declined by 3.4% to 238,785 units. Overall vehicle production in the North American region has increased by 3.9% to 12.368 million in the first nine months of 2013.
According to data issued by Anfavea, the Brazilian trade association for automobile manufacturers, light passenger vehicles market posted a significant drop in August 2013, with total sales at 312,322 units, down 23.0%. The year-to-date August sales were now negative, down 1.9% to 2,344,111 units compared with the same period in 2012. Brazilian auto production is expected to grow 11.9% in 2013, reaching 3.79 million cars, trucks and buses, Anfavea stated.
China continued its upward progress in vehicle production and new car sales in September 2013. Production of cars increased by 14.9% to 1,926,600 units in September compared with the same month last year, and car sales increased by 17.4% to 1,938,400. In the nine month period January to September 2013 production and sales of all automobiles in China increased by 12.8% to 15,938,400 and 12.7% to 15,883,100 units respectively.
In Korea vehicle production fell by 16.2% in September to 287,978 units, attributed to the reduced number of working days due to the Chuseok holidays and the absence of weekend operations at some Korean car plants. Overall production volume in the first nine months of 2013 is down by 2.1% to 3,249,862 units.
Japan also saw a decline in car/truck production in the first eight months of 2013. Car production was down 11% to 5,312,171 units compared with the same period in 2012. Total vehicle production including trucks and buses was down 9.6% to 6,251,777 units.