Based on data which is preliminary in some cases, global demand for passenger vehicles in March fell 1.9% from the same month last year. However, this does not signify that the global uptrend has been reversed. Rather, this decline is mainly attributable to the general demand in Europe and the fewer number of workdays last month as a result of the Easter holiday.
Demand in the Asia/Pacific region increased slightly in March compared to a year ago according to preliminary estimates.
India and Japan are down significantly because last year’s sales were inflated due to incentives, while China reported double-digit growth.
While Eastern Europe (down 3.7%) is continuing to suffer from the impact of the financial crisis, March sales were negatively affected by the position of the Easter holiday.
The NAFTA region (down 0.5%) was down because sales in the same month of last year were inflated (significant promotions), while Latin America (up 3%) posted a gain.
Western Europe (down 10%) was once again down sharply from the year before. Except for the UK (up 7%), all major Western European markets declined significantly. In addition to the general situation, the smaller number of workdays last month also played a role.
Global New Registrations to Hit a New Record in 2013, with Almost 74 Million Units
Global new registrations will once again set a new record in 2013, growing by about 3.5% over 2012. Expectations were revised higher relative to last month’s forecast, by a good 450,000 units (up 0.6%).
This change was mainly attributable to improved demand growth in China and a rebound in Japan. The forecast for Western Europe, on the other hand, had to be revised downward due to unexpectedly weak March sales in Germany and the Netherlands.
New registrations in the Asia/Pacific region will increase by almost 4% in 2013 over the year before. This relatively weak growth is attributable to the expected decline in Japan, where government incentives are expiring.
New registrations in the NAFTA region are expected to continue to rebound, to more than 18 million units. Eastern Europe will grow by 6% in 2013, thanks to the favorable situation in Russia.
Western European passenger vehicle demand will decline for the fourth year in a row in 2013, falling to its lowest level since 1993. Even if the economic situation improves over the course of the year, economic conditions will not be sufficiently strong enough to allow the region to post a gain, even if consumer confidence recovers. The continuing debate concerning the debt crisis has now begun to leave its mark even on countries which are not directly affected.
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For more detailed data on the UK vehicle market, contact SMMT Automotive Information Services (AIS).