EU car sales expected to increase by 2.5% in 2024

The 'Economic and Market Report: Global and EU auto industry - First three quarters 2023' prepared by ACEA and covering the first part of the year that just ended, was published in December 2023.

The analysis shows that the global automotive industry is undergoing significant recovery, with sales up 8.9% over the first nine months of 2023, while supply chain difficulties are gradually easing.

The Automotive market in Europe

Europe experienced a remarkable leap forward, with a 20.4% increase in car registrations from January to September, driven by growing demand.

In the first nine months of 2023, the automotive market in the European Union showed significant growth, reaching a total of eight million registered units, a remarkable increase of 16.9 per cent.

Most of the markets in the region recorded double-digits increases during these nine months, with the four main ones being particularly notable: Italy (+20.5%), Spain (+18.5%), France (+15.9%) and Germany (+14.5%).

Forecasts indicated a 12% growth in car registrations in the EU for the whole year 2023. The actual figures show that EU car sales surged by almost 14% in 2023, with over 10.5 million new registrations. Battery-electric sales soared by an impressive 37% and now command close to a 15% market share. It is significant to underline that these numbers remain almost 20 per cent lower than the volumes recorded in 2019.

Looking ahead, new car registrations in the EU are expected to grow in 2024, albeit at a more moderate pace. Projections suggest an increase of around 2.5%, with sales volumes expected to be around 10.7 million cars next year.

The automotive market in North and South America

North America also witnessed strong growth in car sales, with a substantial 15.5% increase up to the third quarter of last year, despite challenges related to a shortage of new vehicles in stock, high inflation and rising interest rates.

The US, in particular, recorded double-digit growth in new car sales of 15.5% year-on-year.

In South America, demand for cars remained stable at 2 million units, with Brazil, the region's largest market, seeing modest growth of 8%, reaching a total volume of 1.2 million units.

The automotive market in Asia

In Asia, more specifically in Japan, cars sales increased significantly by 17.8% in 2023, although this result is influenced by a previous year characterised by a shortage of semiconductors and components.

In contrast, South Korea saw a more modest growth of 6.6%, negatively influenced by the end of government tax incentives in June 2023.

The Chinese market underwent a period of stagnation in the first nine months of the year, with sales of 15.6 million units and a modest 0.2% increase over the same period in 2022.

Finally, the Indian car market grew by 8.8% from January to September 2023, driven by a preference for personal mobility, increased bookings, and the introduction of new models.

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