Global new car sales: the main trends and what it means for the future

In a world characterized by political uncertainty, the automotive industry provides a constant global – the march forward of China new car market.

China has surpassed the U.S. as the largest car market in 2010 and last year, he consolidated that position with 25.7 million cars sold – that’s eight million euro more than US. Chinese car buyers are flocking to Suvs and city cars, in particular the local market of electric vehicles; while, at the other end of the convenience scale, the demand for luxury models soared.

For China, however, last year was actually a modest, with a growth of just 2% compared to the 2016, but the contrast with the UNITED states was a net. A total of 17.2 million units were sold in the USA, 300,000 less than in 2016. This was the first time sales have weakened since the 2008 recession.

The damage to the american market and was beaten in the summer, when SUVS and pick-up sales plunged.

All the data presented below is from automotive analyst JATO Dynamics. Most of the figures are actual year-end sales, but in some cases include the December forecast. This is because the end of the month official figures, in some markets, it may take a while to filter through.

Luxury car boom, the car sports decline:

The demand in China has made the luxury car market, the largest growing segment in the world last year. Cadillac and Lincoln were the big winners, alongside Porsche.

Car enthusiasts will not be so happy to see the sports car market to take a hit, but declining demand for the Chevrolet Corvette and the Ford Mustang has hit the segment hard.

People carriers and vans continue their slide in popularity, with a decline of up to 10% at the global level for the Mpv was more than offset by growth in Suv, which swelled to almost 12%.

Approximately 27.6 million Suvs were sold in 2017, a quarter of all global sales.

The top ten of nations: winners and losers in 2017:

We have already discussed the China forward as the largest car market. On the contrary, the UNITED kingdom went into retirement in 2017 with the largest percentage drop of any global market, a decrease of 5.4% 2,902,754 sale as a result of the economic uncertainty and new motoring taxes.

The decline, at least, was not enough to push the UK behind France, where 2,539,826 cars have been sold, but a drop of 166,000 units repeated in 2018, alongside an increase in the French market would put the UK under threat.

EV sales, but the market share is small:

Much has been written about global electric vehicle sales equal to 1% of the total global market in 2017, a significant indication of the growing acceptance of battery-powered vehicles. But JATO’s numbers suggest that this is not the case.

“The final figures are not yet confirmed,” says JATO’s global auto analyst Felipe Munoz, “but the preliminary data shows 581,000 EV cars were sold – that’s about 0.8% of the global market.”

So close, but no cigar, to reach 1% considered to be the ‘turning point’ for a technology to become permanent.

In its run-out year, the Nissan Leaf Mk1 lost his number one crown to the cheapest BAIC EC, a little-known Chinese EV with a 20kW battery and prices starting from € 17,000 spectators. For the executive-priced Model also sold, the Leaf is a testament to the power of Tesla’s appeal.

China ZD Zhidou quarter, outselling the Renault Zoe and the Tesla Model X.

Suv in gear for world domination:

“Yes, they are taking over the world, everywhere,” said Munoz. “It is a long-term trend that is now affecting in India, Brazil and south-east Asia”.

Every SUV segment of the market is growing, with the greatest expansion coming from medium-and large-size Suv. In China, a number of 5+2 and the seven-seat Suv have been launched last year.

What are the countries to purchase most of the electric vehicles?

With 332,994 Evs sold, China was the number one market last year, well before US and in Europe. “In addition, the demand doubled in 2017 in China,” says Munoz, “while for US it was the interest of the 14% lower.”

The Supercar still do a bang:

The gold standard for the strong and expensive fast cars remains the Porsche 911 with 30,700 units sold last year, an increase of 4% compared to 2016. In fact, the 911 dominates its segment like no other model – the second best – seller is the Mercedes-Benz SL, with 5800 units (14%).

Ferrari and Aston Martin enjoyed year-on-year revenue growth of 10.1% and 58.1%, respectively. Lexus has made a considerable jump in the standings. LC (5700 sales) took the third place from the Mercedes-AMG GT (5100 for sale).

The total global volume was 75,400 units, a year-on-year increase of 5.3% – very respectable given that this is a segment of cars with starting prices around £80,000.

The disappearance of the three-box saloon:

The rise of the Suv, historically, has meant a corresponding slide traditional sedans. And even if the insulation of the sales of four-door saloon from those of the sedan and estate body is not easy, JATO figures suggest that the trend continued at the global level, with the exception of China.

Three of the four main saloon/sedan/estate segments in China actually expanded in the past year: of medium size (10% year-on-year growth), executive (14%) and luxury (109%). Only the compact segment decline (-5%).

The opposite is true in America, where all four segments posted declines, and in Europe, where both the mainstream and premium compact and midsize segments fell.

Luxury is a lively one, thanks to China:

Mercedes-Benz S-Class – 72,613 sale – The great secret of a success story in the global luxury car sales Cadillac. Invisible in Europe, the legendary american brand has three luxury models the global top ten best – seller list.

The explanation, according to JATO Dynamics, is the rapid growth in the number of billionaires in China.

Cadillac XTS – 60,980 sale – Mercedes mighty S-Class takes first place, as always, but its advantage compared to the Cadillac XTS reduced last year.

When Lincoln is included, there are two American brands in the top five. Where are the Rolls-Royce and Bentley? Of course, it all depends on the price and volume.

BMW 7-Series – 55,990 – More food for thought: there is a case for which the Range Rover in this list – it would feature in the top three if he did. Also consider Jaguar, how to make a new XJ sedan, which should be pure electric. You would need to find 25,000-plus drive to enter the top five.

Europe recovers: Germany, the UNITED kingdom falls:

Growing the sales in Italy, Spain, Poland, France and, to a certain extent, Germany and France to put the Europe of the new car market back on track. Germany was the top, with 3,432,928 cars sold. Suv has become the most sold segment in 23 of the 29 markets in Western europe, according to JATO, largely at the expense of Mpv, which lost 11% of market share.

“Most of Europe is enjoying economic stability, which improves consumer confidence,” says Munoz. Even sales in Greece, where the economy has been ruined by the debt crisis, the improvement of 15%.

But there are some warning signs to 2018: sales in italy last year are suspected to be powered by a self-recordings.

5 trends in the global market, it has reduced in 2017:

This may seem like a nightmare of the football World Cup result, but not often does the UK new car market peel off of small fish, such as Mexico and Puerto Rico. Due to the sale of slides at home, the UNITED kingdom 2017 closed the market with the third-largest year-to-year percentage decline. The bow wave of Brexit and the poor euro-pound exchange rate has hit Ireland even more sharply, with the buyers the choice of used imported cars more than the new ones. The US also suffered, with a 1.9% decline.

The death of home-grown automotive industry:

Last year, the only local manufacturing plant in Australia was closed. What went wrong? “The demand for Australian-built vehicles has been a continuous decline since 2006,” says Munoz.

He lists three main reasons. First, pumping equipment of the saloon and pick-up that caters specifically for the local market and could not be exported.

Second, the industry does not go for SUV production to match changing tastes. Only local SUV, the Ford Territory, never went into production, despite the Suv, and accounting for 45% of the Australian market.

Third, Munoz says poorly designed free trade agreements excluding the automotive sector – for example, resulting in Thailand becoming a regional hub for pick-up in exports.

Sports cars: the demand in some areas in decline:

The highlights of the sports car segment were continuing strong sales of Mazda good handling MX-5 (almost 40,000 units), while the Porsche 718 family also.

Abarth grande punto nuova 124 Spider had a strong first year of sales, claiming 10th place, and fell only slightly on the well-established Mercedes SLC. In the meantime, the Toyota GT86 received a new support, as the approaches run-out years.

But, on the whole, the segment has suffered a decline in the demand for US muscle cars, led, Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Corvette, and, in Europe, the Audi TT.


The last year has been good for the 12 countries considered to be emerging markets, which has increased total sales by 7%.

India raised the sales of the 400,000 car and climbed above Germany as the fourth-largest global market.

The emerging markets have historically suffered from volatile economies, new car sales falling dramatically in response, but JATO suggest that this may be the past.

This year, the battle for brand leadership between the emerging markets will be intriguing. CanVWand Toyota to close on the leaders of the market of Renault-Nissan?

WE pick-up and Suv: a love story that goes on and on and on:

Last year, US car sales fell by 1.9%, led by drops in all the car segments. The only two segments that recorded an increase were the first two Vehicles (+5.8%) and pick-ups (+4.8%), according to JATO.

Both segments combined accounted for 57% of total sales, an increase of 2016.

The reasons for this? Low gasoline prices, more ranges of models and local production. JATO analysts expect this trend to continue also in the coming years.

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