This new report by the ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers Association) offers positive data and conclusions regarding the state of the automotive market both in Europe and the rest of the world.
Overall, 40.4 million passenger cars were sold worldwide, 3.7% more than in the first half of 2017..
As far as the European Union is concerned, the number of passenger car registrations grew by 2.9% between January and June, reaching almost 8.5 million units. Central and Eastern European countries were decisive in this growth. As regards the fuel type of new vehicle registrations, petrol and diesel accounted for 56% and 37% of new passenger cars, respectively, while 6.8% were alternatively-powered vehicles (APVs), of which 50.8% were plug-in hybrid and 40.3% were battery electric.
As regards the production of passenger cars globally, modest growth of 2.2% has been registered, with 40.5 million passenger cars built worldwide. Output in the EU was also up by 2.2%. The growth in Spain (3.2%) is worth highlighting, given that production declined in many other European countries in the same months of 2017.
Passenger car production slowed down in both the USA and Turkey by 5.4% and 2.7%, respectively, in the first half of 2018. Meanwhile, production in South America increased by 11.2%, driven once gain by the Brazilian market. China (+4.8%) maintained its leading position among global passenger car producers with 11.3 million cars built from January to June 2018, representing 28% of global production.
Imports of passenger cars in the European Union also grew by 10.4%, while exports were up by 6%, with the greatest growth shown in countries such as China, Japan and South Korea.
Turning to commercial vehicles, the ACEA report states that during the first half of 2018, the EU market saw 4.7% more vehicle registrations than during the same months of 2017. This figure represents 1.3 million new commercial vehicles, above all vans. Spain leads this growth ahead of France, Germany and Italy. Production growth is forecast to remain at 3.2% at the end of 2018 in respect of last year for the whole of the European Union.
In the rest of the world, the outlook in terms of commercial vehicle sales is that Chinese output will fall by 8.3%, production in North America will increase by 1.5% and that, driven by the recovery of the Brazilian market, South American output will grow by up to 11.1%.
In respect of imports and exports of commercial vehicles, the European Union saw a drop of 1.5% and 1.4%, respectively, between January and June 2018. Nevertheless, so far in 2018, commercial vehicles have generated a trade surplus of more than €1.2 billion in the European Union.