Polk Stats: Increase in Vehicle Sales Forecast

forecast car vehicle sales trends

Polk Stats Show Increase in Vehicle Sales—74 Million Vehicles Expected to be Sold

A monthly forecast summary for May by automotive data and marketing solutions leader Polk shows that global demand for passenger vehicles in May remained about the same compared to the same period last year, but that regional differences would lead to a new sales record by the end of the year.

Regional Forecasts

In the Asia-Pacific region, demand for vehicles in 2012 dropped to about 4 percent compared to the previous year according to Polk’s preliminary estimates. The research firm attributes this slight decline to the downward trend in Japan, which is down by 9 percent. This in turn can be traced to inflated year-before comparison figures and lesser number of workdays. However, for 2013, the Asia-Pacific region, also recognised as the largest market for vehicles in the world, is up by around 6 percent compared to last year.

Meanwhile, Eastern Europe is down by 7 percent, a development that’s due to the region suffering from the financial crisis’ impact, with its effects now being felt in Russia as well. New registrations in the country dropped sharply by 12 percent in May for the second straight time. With 5 months already gone by, Eastern Europe slipped down by 1 percent compared to the same period last year.

Things are no better in Western Europe, which is down by at least 5 percent and posting sharp losses once again. The most glaring slumps are happening in France and Germany, where demand for vehicles fell down by 10 percent in each country. The only bright spot in the region is the United Kingdom, which reported an increase of new registrations of 11 percent compared to the previous year. Western Europe, which has been ridden by crises, is down by 7 percent this year.

The NAFTA Region, up by 9 percent, is expected to experience an upward trend thanks to the United States showing signs of strong growth.

3 Percent Global Growth Forecast

Despite this mixed bag of trends, Polk expects global new registrations for vehicles to hit a new record by the end of the year, with their statistics forecasting an increase to 74 million units—a growth of 3 percent over 2012.

By the end of the year, Polk expects new registrations in the Asia-Pacific to hit a high of 4 percent compared to the last year. The forecast sees an increase in sales of 100,000 units in the region. The reason for this? Strong growth in China.

In the NAFTA region, Polk expects vehicle sales to rebound by more than 18 million units.

Polk forecasts Eastern Europe to grow by less than 2 percent this year, this mainly due to the worsening situation in Russia. Low oil prices compounded by a negative economic outlook are expected to reduce new vehicle registrations.

Polk also sees vehicle demand in Western Europe to decline for the fourth straight year in 2013, tying figures not seen since 1993. This record low of new registrations has not been reported since 1985. Despite growth in the UK, the situation in France and Germany are expected to take its toll on the region.