Polk data shows worldwide new registrations remain steady

19 December 2013 #SMMT News

Based on data which is preliminary in some cases, global demand for passenger vehicles remains steady with the year before,  down 0.1% in November. For the year, passenger vehicle registrations are now up 2.94 million or 4.4% on 2012.


Global demand was unable to maintain its uptrend of recent months, due in particular to weak results in the Asia/Pacific region. According to preliminary results, registrations were down about 0.1% from 2012. On the year, however, the largest region in the world, is still up by more than 7% from the year before. China continues to be the region’s driver of growth.

Eastern Europe (up 1.1%) managed to post a gain in November although the Russian market continued to drop. This improvement is attributable to the uptrend in Turkey. However, the region is still down 1.1% from the year before.

The NAFTA region (up 0.6%) posted slight growth in November, but year-to-date passenger vehicle sales in the region were up significantly from the year before, by 7.9%, despite the fiscal crisis in the US.

In Western Europe (up 0.6%), the picture was mixed: while the UK and the Netherlands posted strong gains in the month, registrations were down in three other key regional markets, France, Germany and Italy. New registrations are still down 2.9% for the year.

New registrations expected to exceed 75 million units
Global new registrations are expected to set a new record in 2013, growing by around 4.5% compared to 2012.



New registrations in the Asia/Pacific region will increase by more than 7% in 2013 compared to 2012. In China alone, sales at the end of the year will be up about 1.78 million units from the year before.

New registrations in the NAFTA region are expected to continue to rebound to about 18.3 million units. The forecast for this region has improved slightly, while the outlook for Latin America has worsened slightly. New registrations in Latin America are now expected to grow by almost 1.3%, to 6.1 million units.

Eastern Europe will post a slight loss in 2013, due to the fact that the situation in Russia has now worsened. The worsening economic outlook in conjunction with low oil prices has caused new registrations to slump lately. The relative strength of the other markets in this region will not be enough to offset these losses.

Western European passenger vehicle demand will decline for the fourth year in a row in 2013 (down 2.5%), falling to approximately where it was in 1993. However, the downtrend in new registrations seems to have bottomed out. In addition to heavyweights like Germany (down 135,000 units), France (down 136,000 units) and Italy (down 100,000 units), the Netherlands, a relatively small market, will also contribute significantly to the decline in sales (down 106,000 units).

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