Global automotive industry sales rose 5.6% in 2016 to 84.24 million units (LCVs and passenger cars), according to data released by JATO Dynamics. Declines in Japan, Russia and Brazil were offset by strong results in China and Europe, said Felipe Munoz, JATO’s Global Analyst. Global demand for SUVs continued, with significant sales increases in the segment across South East Asia, Europe and China.
Segment ranking showed that SUVs were the largest drivers of growth, with its volume accounting for almost 29% of all cars, pickups and LCVs sold last year. The majority of these registrations were in the C-SUV subsegment, but the smallest subsegment (B-SUV) posted the highest growth of 28.0%.
SUVs have continued to take market share away from traditional segments, and this trend isn’t restricted to particular markets – it’s a trend that we’ve seen on a global scale and expect to continue in 2017.—Felipe Munoz
Expansion of the car purchase restrictions policy in China caused a slowdown in the market at the beginning of the year. However, demand recovered during H2, with consistent monthly double-digit growth. 2016 was a mixed year for the US, with a decline in registrations in five of the twelve months. This resulted in the overall volume of registrations in 2016 increasing by just 0.4% compared to 2015.
Japanese car sales decreased by 1.6% compared to 2015, signalling a slowdown in the retraction of the industry when compared to the sharp fall of 9.5% seen in 2015. Tax increases on Kei-cars continued to impact the Japanese market in 2016, with city-cars posting a decline of 4.2%. The decline in registrations in Brazil was particularly dramatic, with 500,000 less units registered compared to the previous year. 2016’s total was a significant 45% lower than the record 3.63 million units posted in 2012.
The declines in these markets were offset by double-digit growth in China and Europe’s slow, consistent recovery. European car and LCV registrations totalled 17.1 million units, which is a significant increase of 7% on 2015.
In the emerging markets, India showed its strength with more than 3.3 million units sold as a result of growing prosperity and the greater availability of consumer credit. India’s growth offset losses in other emerging markets, and established India as a solid source of revenue for car manufacturers.