Differentiated development on the international vehicle markets continued throughout July. While the passenger car markets in Russia, India, China, Japan and Brazil all showed double-digit growth – and the USA also achieved a notable increase of 9 per cent – the uncertainty owing to the debt crisis in some states had a tangible effect last month on the Western European car market.
The German automotive industry is benefiting from its global orientation. German brands sold 101,000 new light vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks) in the USA in July, which was almost 15 per cent more than in the same month last year. The total light vehicle market has grown by 9 per cent to 1.15 million units. In the passenger car sector German OEMs actually sold 19 per cent more vehicles in July, while the overall US car market expanded by 15 per cent.
Since the beginning of the year, some 692,700 light vehicles from German brands have been sold in the USA. This represents growth of 20 per cent. The market as a whole increased by 14 per cent over the same period, to 8.4 million light vehicles. "Therefore in the United States we are still expanding faster than the market itself. Our two-pillar strategy – passenger car exports from Germany and local production – is paying off. The proportion of light vehicles that our manufacturers are building and also selling in the USA is rising continuously. At the same time, exports from Germany have shown a double-digit increase,” Wissmann said. In the passenger car segment, German manufacturers have increased their market share this year by 0.4 percentage points to 12 per cent. This means that one new vehicle in eight sold in the USA comes from a German brand.In July the Brazilian light vehicle market recorded surprisingly strong development: it expanded by more than one fifth (+22 per cent) to 351,200 units. However, this growth is mostly due to state incentives that were introduced just a couple of months ago. In the first seven months of 2012 the Brazilian light vehicle market showed only moderate growth of 3 per cent to nearly 2 million units. Since January the German group brands have increased their market share slightly to 21.3 per cent.
The Chinese passenger car market proved to be in robust form in July, turning in a rise of just over 11 per cent. A total of 984,900 new cars were sold. This growth exceeded the average seen so far this year, which came to almost 9 per cent. In the first seven months of the current year the Chinese market totalled 7.4 million new registrations. A good fifth of those were vehicles from German group brands.
The Indian passenger car market also showed solid growth. In July a total of 205,000 new cars were sold – a rise of almost 12 per cent as compared with last July. So far this year, passenger car sales in India have climbed by nearly 13 per cent to 1.68 million units.
The dynamic growth on the Japanese passenger car market also continued through July. New registrations rose by over 42 per cent to 445,200 vehicles. Year-to-date growth amounts to a good 54 per cent, and almost 3 million new vehicles have been sold – around 1 million units more than in the same period last year.
In Russia, July sales of light vehicles increased by around 14 per cent to 255,600 units. Total expansion this year so far has been of the same order of magnitude, reaching 1.67 million light vehicles. The market share going to German group brands showed year-on-year growth of 3.6 percentage points, to 20.7 per cent, which is a clear rise. Therefore more than one fifth of newly registered cars in Russia bear a German badge. In the first seven months of this year the German OEMs sold 345,800 new cars in Russia, i.e. around 100,000 units more than they did in the same period in 2011.
The Western European passenger car market is feeling the effects of the uncertainty owing to the national debt crisis in some countries ever more acutely. July car sales fell by nearly 8 per cent to 912,700 units. Yet the trends vary widely from country to country. While new passenger car registrations rose by 9 per cent in the United Kingdom, and growth was also seen in Denmark (+28 per cent), Norway (+7 per cent) and Ireland (+9 per cent), the passenger car markets shrank in Germany (-5 per cent), France (-7 per cent), Spain (-17 per cent) and Italy (-21 per cent) to below the volume in July 2011. This year 7.4 million new cars have so far been registered in Western Europe, which was a drop of 7 per cent compared with the same period last year.