Polk data shows worldwide new registrations up 15% in February over the year before

22 March 2012 #SMMT News

Based on data which is preliminary in some cases, global demand for passenger vehicles in February was up 15% over the year before. All regions except for Western Europe and Latin America posted clear gains, which were in the double digits in some cases.

The Asia/Pacific region was up by 40% from the year before in February, according to preliminary estimates. Japan was up a good 30% over February 2012. In addition to the dynamic rebound in these markets, it is apparent that new incentives are beginning to bear fruit. Extraordinary growth is expected in China as well compared to a very weak February 2011 given the typically strong performance of that market, as well as the fact that the Chinese spring festival was celebrated in January this year.

In Eastern Europe (up 14%), the growth continued in February 2012 with double-digit gains, as Russian growth has not let up following expiration of the scrappage scheme. Latin America was down 10% from the year before in February, as that region’s economic problems have started to leave their mark.

New registrations were once again down in Western Europe (down 10%). This trend has been driven primarily by the Southern European markets, which have suffered the most from the current financial crisis.

The global passenger vehicle market is still on track for growth: only Western Europe is expected to post a loss in 2012

Global new registrations will once again set a new record in 2012, growing by almost 7% over 2011. In general, expectations have been revised slightly higher (up 0.3%) relative to the month before. Significant downward revisions were made for Argentina (down 110,000 units) as a result of economic problems in that country. On the other hand, the forecast was raised in India (up 300,000 units), where the weakness in demand seems to have finally been overcome. The outlook is also somewhat better now for Russia, the US (up 50,000 units each) and Japan (up 70,000 units).

The Asia/Pacific will be up almost 12% from the year before in 2012. This is attributable to the aforementioned situation in the Japanese passenger vehicle market and the continuing growth in China. Only in South Korea is a slight decline expected.

The NAFTA region is expected to continue to recover, although its former levels will remain out of range. Nevertheless, new registrations will exceed the 16 million mark by a significant margin. Eastern Europe will grow by more than 8% in 2012 thanks to the good conditions in Russia.

Western European passenger vehicle demand will be down again in 2012 (by 5%), as was the case in 2010 and 2011. New registrations are expected to fall in every country except Germany. Germany has been only slightly affected by the crisis so far, and its outlook for the current year is very good, especially in the job market. As a result, the German economy is expected to remain stagnant at the least, and will perhaps even manage to post slight growth.

Data: Copyright R.L. Polk Europe Holding Ltd, all rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without prior written consent from Polk –

For more detailed data on the UK vehicle market, contact SMMTAutomotive Information Services (AIS).

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