World Sales Hit Record High in March

World Sales Hit Record High in March

Global vehicle deliveries reached 8.58 million units with mixed results across the different regions.

Global vehicle sales totaled 8.58 million units in March, a 1.6% increase over like-2014 and a record-high volume for any month in WardsAuto history.

Europe posted the largest year-over-year growth. Sales in the region surged 5.9% to 2.14 million units and accounted for 25.0% of the world market, the highest share since June 2012’s 25.3% result.

Although a few countries such as Russia (-42.9%) and Ukraine (-78.0%) reported losses in the month, most countries saw major gains, with fifteen in double-digits, including Italy (+14.6%), Spain (+43.7%) and Turkey (+74.8%). The U.K. and Germany, the region’s largest markets, were up 8.1% and 9.3%, respectively.

The North American market improved 2.0% in March as all countries recorded growth from year-ago. Deliveries in the U.S. and Canada increased 0.9% and 2.3%, respectively. Mexico sales spiked 22.5%, the greatest hike since April 2002. The 1.85 million combined vehicles sold were 21.5% of the global total.

The Asia-Pacific region’s sales reached 4.11 million units and accounted for 47.9% of worldwide deliveries. The March figure was down 0.4%, resulting in the second consecutive year-over-year decline following a 23-month stretch of positive results.

Sales gains in China (+3.3%), India (+2.5%) and Australia (+8.0%) were not enough to negate declines reported in Japan (-11.2%), South Korea (-7.3%) and Indonesia (-12.1%).

South America’s results totaled 390,000 vehicles in March, 1.8% below same-month 2014. This was the 13th consecutive year-over-over drop, but the lowest in that period. The region’s share of the world market hit an all-time low of 4.5%.

Brazil continued to struggle in the month with sales down 2.6% from year-ago levels. Deliveries tumbled in Chile as well, down 22.3%. Argentina (+6.1%) and Colombia (+2.9%) softened the region’s downturn.

Through March, 21.86 million vehicles were sold worldwide, up 1.0% from like-2014.

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