September saw continuing growth in the three largest automotive markets of Western Europe, USA and China. New car sales in Western Europe climbed by almost 6%, whilst the US market grew by more than 9% and China rose by 8%. India saw a lower increase at 3% whilst the demand was down again in Brazil (-4%) and Russia (-20%).
Over the first three quarters of this year, car sales in Western Europe have totaled 9.24 million new vehicles, representing a year-on-year rise of 5.2%. New registrations were up by over 5% in Germany, up by 6% in France and the UK, up 3% in Italy and 26% in Spain making it the eighth month in a row for double digit increases in that country. The increase in demand in the smaller markets also reached double figures in Greece (+33%), Portugal (+31%) and Ireland (+24%). This year so far, demand in the new EU countries has climbed by nearly 16% to 666,700 units.
Russia, however, has reported that sales in the light vehicle market were down 13% to 1.8 million vehicles in the first nine months.
Since the beginning of this year, a total of almost 12.4 million passenger cars and light trucks have been sold in the USA, representing growth of 5.4% compared with the previous year. September sales of light trucks rose by nearly 17% reaching 676,400 vehicles. Car and light vehicle production in the whole of North America reached 12.735 million units, representing an increase of 5.3% compared with the same period last year. This could put North America on track to finish the year with production of around 17.352 million units just short of the record 17.659 million recorded in 2000 and topping 17 million for only the third time in history.
In Brazil new registrations in the nine months to September failed to match the level of 2013, falling by almost 9% to 2.4 million vehicles.
The Chinese passenger car market again expanded in September. In the first nine months of this year China recorded car sales of 13.8 million vehicles, a rise of 12.8% compared with the same period in 2013. Car production in China also kept up with demand reaching 14.4 million. Total vehicle production in China reached 17.2 million.
Vehicle production in Korea increased by 2% to 294,160 units in September, and for the first nine months, production gained 2.1% year-on -year to 3,318,991 units.
In Japan, new car registrations amounted to 431,800 units in September, a drop of around 3%, but year-to-date figures shows the market to be up by almost 6% (at 3.7 million units).
In India cars sales rose by more than 3% last month with a volume in the region of 223,600 units. After the first three quarters, the Indian car market remains exactly where it was this time last year with 1.9 million vehicles sold.