Polk data shows worldwide new registrations remain steady

28 June 2013 #SMMT News

Based on data which is preliminary in some cases, global demand for passenger vehicles remain steady, down just 0.4% in May on year before. There were, however, some differences in the regional breakdown.

Demand in the Asia/Pacific region declined about 4% from the prior year according to preliminary estimates. The main driver of this was the downward trend in Japan (down 9%), which is due to the inflated 2012 comparison figure and the lower number of workdays. For the year, this region, which represents the largest market in the world, is now up about 6% compared to last year.

Eastern Europe (down 7%) is continuing to suffer from the impact of the financial crisis and this effect has now spread permanently to Russia as well, where new registrations declined by a surprisingly steep amount (down 12%) in May for the second time in a row. Five months into the year, this region is down 1% compared to a year ago.

The NAFTA region is continuing its upward trend rising 9%, with the U.S. in particular reporting strong growth.

Western Europe once again posted losses with registrations down 5.6%. The most severe slumps were reported by France and Germany, where demand declined 10% in each case. Only the UK reported growth in new registrations, up 11% in May on the year before. For the year, this crisis-ridden region is now down almost 7% compared to last year.

Global New Registrations to Hit a New Record in 2013, with Almost 74 Million Units
Global new registrations are expected  to rise 3% and set a new record in 2013. Overall expectations were not revised significantly relative to last month’s forecast. However, adjustments were certainly necessary in some regions.

New registrations in the Asia/Pacific region will increase by about 4% in 2013 compared to the prior year. The forecast for this region was raised by 100,000 units (0.3%) due to strong growth in China.

New registrations in the NAFTA region are expected to continue to rebound to over 18 million units.

Eastern Europe will grow by less than 2% in 2013, due to the fact that the situation in Russia has now worsened. The worse-ning economic outlook in conjunction with low oil prices has caused new registrations to slump lately, leading us to reduce our forecast for this region by 70,000 units.


Western European passenger vehicle demand will decline for the fourth year in a row in 2013, falling to approximately where it was in 1993. This is the lowest number of new registrations since 1985. Despite the improved outlook in the United Kingdom, the forecast had to be reduced slightly once again due to weak results in France and Germany, and the lower forecasts for these two countries.

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