In October international business in passenger cars was more dynamic than initially expected. The Asian countries were the most important drivers of growth. And recovery is clearly continuing both in Russia and in the new EU Member States.
The Chinese passenger car market turned out to be surprisingly strong in the month of October. A total of 994,400 cars were sold, which was 29 per cent more vehicles than in the same month last year. The monthly growth rate had slackened off to about 20 per cent in recent months, but the high figure for October has now bucked this trend. Since the beginning of the year over 9 million passenger cars have been sold in China – a good 37 per cent more vehicles than in the same period last year.
The Indian passenger car market remained on course for growth and last month it recorded sales amounting to 232,000 units, i.e. a rise of 38 per cent. This year demand in India has already climbed by around one third, to nearly 2 million units. Sales of German brands in the first ten months of this year have more than doubled (+135 per cent), while their still small market share increased by over one percentage point to 2.5 per cent.
In the USA October sales of light vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks) totalled 947,100. While the economy in general made a slight recovery the automotive market thus expanded by a good 13 per cent. The German manufacturers pushed up their sales both of passenger cars and of light trucks, growing faster than the market itself. In the light truck segment they even increased their October sales by more than one third. The total US market for light vehicles shows year-to-date growth of almost 11 per cent, to over 9.5 million vehicles.
Business in automobiles in Brazil has tended to be somewhat unstable this year. In October new registrations of light vehicles rose slightly (2 per cent), but so far this year sales of light vehicles have gone up by almost 7 per cent to over 2.6 million vehicles.
In Russia October sales of new cars expanded by 62 per cent, which is the highest growth rate since the scrapping bonus was introduced in March of this year. This year so far, sales have exceeded 1.5 million passenger cars, outstripping the – albeit very low – value from last year by nearly 23 per cent. The current level is still roughly 40 per cent below the volume in the year 2008, before the crisis.
In the new EU countries the slight tendencies toward recovery continued last month. In October the EU-10 countries recorded growth of over 12 per cent, which meant an increase in new registrations of passenger cars for the third month in succession. Here, too, the figures should be seen in comparison with the weak figures from October last year. In the period up to and including October sales slumped by almost 8 per cent, to 641,600 vehicles.
In Western Europe sales of passenger cars fell as expected in October (by nearly 18 per cent to 992,100 units). The drop is mostly due to the termination of bonus programmes in some European countries. So far this year demand for passenger cars is 5 per cent down on the previous year’s figure, to almost 11 million units.