The automotive industry grew in 2017, with 86.05 million units (LCVs and passenger cars) sold according to data released today by JATO Dynamics. This is a significant 2.05 million more than in 2016 and represents a 2.4% increase on 2016. “The automotive market performed well in 2017, with established economies maintaining growth, whilst developing markets like Russia and Brazil returned to growth following declines last year,” commented Felipe Munoz, JATO’s Global Analyst.
SUVs contributed significantly to the automotive industry’s strong performance, accounting for the largest market share in China, North America and Europe (the three largest regions), yet were not as popular in the three smallest regions – Asia-Pacific, Japan and South Korea and Latin America. The subcompact was the most popular segment in Asia-Pacific and Latin America, whilst city-cars secured the largest market share in Japan, demonstrating that there is still scope for the SUV to grow as its popularity spreads.
Europe, Asia-Pacific (excluding China, Japan and South Korea) and, notably Latin America were the key drivers of growth in 2017. Double-digit increases in 13 markets, including Russia, Thailand and Argentina, offset declines in significant markets such as the US, UK, Mexico and South Korea, and slowing growth in China. The Asia-Pacific market (excluding China, Japan and South Korea), was bolstered by increased sales in India, Thailand, New Zealand and Singapore, whilst the Latin American region benefitted from the improved economic situation in Brazil.
SUVs reached a new record market share in 2017, accounting for 34% of the total market for the period. Results for the 52 markets analysed show that 27.85 million SUVs were sold in 2017, 3.14 million units more than 2016, which is a 12.7% increase.
Compact SUVs accounted for almost 40% of total SUV sales, growing by 9.2%, the lowest growth rate of all SUV sub-segments. Growth in the SUV segment was largely driven by the midsize SUV (D-SUV) subsegment, which grew by 16.6%. Large SUVs (E-SUVs) posted a significant growth of 15.7%, with the North American region accounting for almost 2 in 3 vehicles sold, and volume in China doubling.
The Ford-F Series was once again the world’s best-selling car, as it further exerted its dominance over the Toyota Corolla, which came in second. As usual, the Ford-F Series took the top spot as a result of strong US demand, which accounted for 80% of its total volume.