End-of-year rally in global passenger vehicle demand

17 January 2014 #SMMT News

Based on POLK data, which is preliminary in some cases, global demand for passenger vehicles in December showed significant growth against 2012, up 10.6%. For full year 2013, passenger vehicle registrations were up 3.75 million or 5.2% no 2012.

Table December 2013 POLK

The Asia/Pacific region posted strong growth in the month, up 14.2%. Slumps in Thailand and some Arab markets were more than made up for by gains in Japan and, above all, in China. Demand in this region, increased 8.2% in 2013. China remains the region’s main driver for growth, up 14.5% in 2013.

Eastern Europe, up 7.3%, posted a gain in December despite the slump in the Russian market. The growth was attributable to the positive market trend in Turkey. The region was able to nearly equal last year’s results in 2013, down 0.1%.

The NAFTA region posted a strong 8.8% rise in December. The growth was driven by strong demand in the US, where the fiscal crisis now seems to be forgotten. Passenger vehicle registrations in this region last year were up a clear 8.1% from the year before.

Registrations in Latin America declined 1% in December from the year before, due primarily to losses in Brazil and Colombia.

Western Europe posted strong growth once again, up 13.1%,  thanks to anticipated December registrations as a result of upcoming tax changes and the expiration of incentives. However, the market was down 1.8% in 2013.

2014: New registrations expected to exceed 78 million units

Global new registrations is expected to once again set a new record in 2014, growing by around 3.5% against 2013.

Forecast graph December 2013 POLK

New registrations in the Asia/Pacific region are forecast to increase by more than 3.4% in 2014 compared to 2013. 

New registrations in the NAFTA region are also expected to continue to climb, to about 19.1 million units. The forecast for this region has improved, while new registrations in Latin America are expected to grow by about 4.5%, to 6.3 million units.

Eastern Europe is still expected to post growth (up 4.6%). However, now as the situation in Russia is worsening, a revision in the forecast is becoming more likely. 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.

Passenger vehicle demand in Western Europe is predicted to rise slightly again in 2014, up 2.0%, as gains in key markets like Germany, France and Italy will more than make up for losses in the relatively small Dutch market and the stagnation in Spain.

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