European car sales uptick fuels global optimism

European car sales uptick fuels global optimism


Despite the ongoing threats of global recessions, many of the markets around the world are starting to pick up.

Countries in Europe, North America, South America and Asia have shown signs of life, but it must be noted that sales a year ago were down considerably, giving lots of room for growth. Improving on 2021’s poor showing is not necessarily leading markets forward. This is, however, providing hope that the market is not ready to suddenly turn down.

Recent upticks in the EU add to that hope. Sales in October marked the third straight month beating prior year numbers. October light vehicle sales were up about 9% over the same period in 2021, with the continued expectations that November and December will report slight improvements as well.

This story is an extract from the December 2022 issue of AutoForecast Solutions’ monthly report. AutoForecast Solutions is the only fully integrated solutions provider of vehicle, powertrain, drivetrain and electrification production forecasting, business planning software and advisory services to the global automotive industry. Click here to download the full report, or to catch up on previous months.

Despite these positive numbers, losses in the first half of the year mean 2022 will end considerably lower than 2021 and should mark the trough of around 9.1 million units. Sales are expected to pick up 3.5% in 2023.

Light vehicle sales in the UK also performed better in the last three months than in the same period the year prior. October sales were up 26.9%, besting the single-digit improvements in September and August. As in the EU, big losses in the first half will hold back this year’s totals for the UK and the year is expected to finish down 1.2% compared with 2021. Nearing 1.7 million units of sales next year will be a 3.0% improvement over this year, but this will still be a far cry from the two-plus million units reported annually before the pandemic year of 2020.

North America grew in October by 7.5% although year-to-date (YTD) is still behind last year by 10.2%. Mexico was in the black through October, but the US and Canada still have a way to go to recover early 2022 losses.



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