VDA reports stabilisation of global passenger car sales

August 27, 2020

After an unprecedented collapse in the first half of 2020 due to impacts caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19), the international automotive markets stabilised as the second half-year commenced, reports the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA).

The Western European market (EU-14, EFTA and UK) shrank slightly in July; the US and Japan both recorded double-digit contraction, while India experienced a single-digit drop in sales. The figures in Brazil once again showed a significant slump and by contrast, sales in China rose for the third consecutive month. The reasons for this reportedly include the purchases now being made that were put off during lockdown, and the government’s measures to boost sales.

New passenger car registrations in Western Europe fell in July to close at 1.2 million (-2%), with varying developments on the five largest national markets. Car sales added 11% in the UK, and also increased slightly in France (+4%) and Spain (+1%). 

However, the losses continued in Germany (-5%) and Italy (-1). From January to July, a total of almost 5.8 million new vehicles were sold on the Western European market, which was 35% less than in the same period last year.

The US light vehicle market (passenger cars and light trucks) recorded a year-on-year loss of 12% last month and totalled 1.2 million new vehicles. Since the beginning of this year, the market has lost 22% and is now just under 7.7 million vehicles. In the light truck segment, which is said to account for three-quarters of the overall market, sales were down by 17% and the passenger car segment lost more than 34%.

China’s passenger car market grew for the third month in succession. The last similar period of growth in the country occurred in the second quarter of 2018. Sales in China came to 1.6 million vehicles, almost 9% higher than in July 2019. However, the year-to-date total continues to show a fall of 18% (9.3 million cars).

In the Indian passenger car market, 182,800 vehicles were sold in July (-4%). Sales since the beginning of the year have fallen by 43% to just 993,800 vehicles.

The vehicle business in Japan contracted by 13% in July (330,800 passenger cars). Passenger car sales on the Japanese market since January now amount to nearly 2.2 million, which is 19% below last year’s level.

In the second half-year, the Brazilian light vehicle market was 30% down, on 163,400 units. In the first seven months of this year, 928,700 vehicles were registered in Brazil, 37% less than in the same period last year.


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