The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

World Automotive Markets Rebounding

January 07, 2014

The international passenger car markets overall had a good month in November. Passenger car sales in China rose by nearly one quarter last month. Positive growth was also seen in demand on the traditional automotive markets: the US light vehicle market expanded by almost 9 percent, while Japan recorded an increase of around 17 percent. In Western Europe, new passenger car registrations rose by nearly 1 percent. As expected, there were renewed falls in demand in Russia (-4 percent), Brazil (-3 percent) and India (-10 percent), according to research released by the Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA), a trade group that promotes the German automotive industry.

November sales of light vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks) in the U.S. showed a year-on-year rise of almost 9 percent to about 1.2 million vehicles; the best November sales figures since 2003. The government shutdown in October caused many new car purchases to be postponed to November. At 656,700 units, sales of light trucks in November rose by just over 11 percent. Sales of passenger cars climbed by nearly 6 percent to reach 581,600 new vehicles. In 2013, demand for light vehicles in the United States has risen by about 8 percent (14.2 million units). Sales of light trucks have increased by more than 11 percent (7.2 million new vehicles). Sales of passenger cars have gone up by 5 percent to almost 7 million units, according to the VDA.

During November, new registrations in the Japanese passenger car market increased by almost 17 percent to 378,600 new vehicles. However, this year sales have so far remained 2 per cent below last year’s level, totaling 4.2 million units, according to the VDA research.
The Chinese passenger car market is continuing its uninterrupted success. In November around 1.6 million new vehicles were sold, which was a 24 percent increase on the same month last year. The total for the first eleven months of 2013 came close to 14.7 million units, more than 22 percent above the figure for the same period last year. The market share going to the German group brands is currently just over one fifth, according to the Germany-based VDA.

The Indian market for passenger cars, on the other hand, showed a fall of more than 10 percent compared to November 2012. Sales came to 201,500 units. Vehicle sales during the period since January and up to November also failed to reach last year’s level – they have decreased by a little over 7 percent to nearly 2.4 million units, according to the VDA
In Russia the light vehicle market recorded another month of shrinkage. The total number of vehicles sold in November came to 232.000, almost 4 percent under the level seen in the previous year. From January to November, sales of new light vehicles dropped to around 2.5 million units – which represents a reduction of more than 6 percent, according to the VDA

The Brazilian light vehicle market also cooled off somewhat in November. New registrations fell by nearly 3 percent to 288,500 units. However, during 2013, the light vehicle market in Brazil almost kept up with last year’s volume: in total 3.2 million vehicles were newly registered in the first eleven months of 2013(-1 per cent), according to the VDA.

New passenger car registrations in Western Europe recorded a slight year-on-year rise in November, growing by almost 1 percent to reach 910,600 new vehicles. This means the Western European market expanded for the third month in succession. Demand for passenger cars dropped a little in Germany (-2 percent), France (-4 percent) and Italy (-5 percent) during November. By contrast, the positive trend continued in the UK passenger car business (+7 percent). In Spain, car sales showed double-digit growth for the third time in succession (+15 percent). Double-digit increases also occurred for the car markets in Greece (+31 percent) and Portugal (+23 percent). Since January 2013, new passenger car registrations in Western Europe have amounted to about 10.7 million vehicles, having fallen by nearly 3 percent. However, whereas the first half-year saw sales almost 7 percent down on last year’s level, new passenger car registrations recovered in the second half-year (up to November) by 2 percent, according to the VDA.

In the new EU Member States new passenger car registrations continued to increase. At 64,700 units, demand rose by just over 3 percent. So far this year passenger car sales have fallen by 1 percent (687,900 units).

New Passenger Car Registrations/Sales


November 2013

January – November 2013



Change 13/12 in %



Change 13/12 in %

Europe (EU27+EFTA)*






European Union (EU-27)






W. Europe (EU15+EFTA)






New EU Countries (EU11)*











































* without Malta


** Light Vehicles

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