Global auto sales remain slow as China boosts exports

Consumer demand


All autos Dec12.pngAuto sales continue to struggle in 3 of the world’s main markets. The chart shows combined sales by month in China, US, EU, Japan and India. These were 76% of global demand in 2011. Overall, volume is up 6% versus last year:

• China’s sales are up 7% at 13.1m, as its economy remains slow
• US sales are up 14% to 13.1m, as consumers use cheap credit to replace ageing cars
• EU sales are now back at 1993 levels, with 2012 volumes down 8% to 11.2m
• Japan’s post-earthquake recovery is slowing, with sales 4.2m and November sales flat
• India is also slowing, with sales 2.3m and November volumes down 8%

This maintains the stop-start sequence of recent years, where overall 2008 volumes were down 7%, followed by 0% gain in 2009. Then 2010 saw a 10% gain, only to disappoint last year with sales up only 2%. And meantime, auto makers continue to invest in new capacity. The main expansion is in China, which is now focused on building export sales to utilise its new factories.

Its auto exports are expected to hit 1m for the first time this year, with volumes by the end of October already higher than 2011’s total. Its main markets are currently Algeria, Iraq, Iran, Russia and Chile. But whilst other automakers remain complacent, the competitive threat is growing as analysts JD Power say China is poised to match Western quality standards by 2018.


China's leaders aim for "greater political courage and wisdom"


China’s new leaders have made a good start. Its too early to say whether t...

Learn more

The Cycle of Deflation continues to develop


In January, the blog suggested that political issues would continue to gain incr...

Learn more
More posts
Americans hunker down on spending as the pandemic’s impact continues

US stock markets have been hitting new records recently, as investors swoon over the idea that the $...

Circular economy set to replace today’s broken global supply chains

The Great Freeze in Texas has confirmed once again the problems with today’s global supply cha...

Smartphone sales highlight new trends in consumer markets

Smartphone markets continue to provide early warning of the major changes taking place in consumer m...

Buyers scramble for product as global supply chains breakdown

Asian LNG prices reached $32.50/MMBTU this month, up from less than $2/MMBTU in June. The Shanghai C...

5 key questions for success in the New Normal

Sustainability rather than globalisation is becoming the key driver for business. And the paradigm s...

US chemical companies face ‘wake-up call’ as Biden focuses on the Climate Change agenda

I worked for many years at a world-leading chemical company, ICI. But sadly, it lost its way as seni...

Plastics producers face a ‘wake-up call’ from both ends of the value chain

Plastics producers have had a great run over the past 60 years, as demand took off for their product...

Smartphone sales confirm mid-market of ‘affordable luxury’ is disappearing

Another 3 months, another decline in global smartphone sales. And more pressure on mid-market player...


Market Intelligence

ICIS provides market intelligence that help businesses in the energy, petrochemical and fertilizer industries.

Learn more


Across the globe, ICIS consultants provide detailed analysis and forecasting for the petrochemical, energy and fertilizer markets.

Learn more

Specialist Services

Find out more about how our specialist consulting services, events, conferences and training courses can help your teams.

Learn more

ICIS Insight

From our news service to our thought-leadership content, ICIS experts bring you the latest news and insight, when you need it.

Learn more