Global vehicle sales rose 6.0% in February, with every region reporting gains over year-ago. However, deliveries totaled only 6.5 million units in the month, marking the lowest volume for the world since February 2013’s 6.1 million tally.
The Asia-Pacific region posted the largest year-over-year growth in February, surging 9.4% to 3.0 million units, accounting for 46.1% of the world market.
Deliveries in China, the region’s biggest market, reached 1.6 million units, up 16.9% from like-2013. Such strong sales are likely the result of the timing of the Chinese New Year. The holiday fell in late January this year and occurred in February in 2013.
Japan also recorded positive growth in February, up 18.4% over year-ago, while sales in India fell for the 15th straight month, down 9.8%.
Europe witnessed solid gains as well in February, with sales up 4.5% over year-ago levels. With 1.3 million units sold, the region claimed 20.4% of global sales in the month.
Germany (+5.6%), Italy (+9.1%), Spain (+20.9%) and the U.K. (+4.9%) all posted increases over February 2013, and were able to keep the region in positive territory despite declines seen in France (-0.5%), Russia (-4.6%) and Turkey (-26.9%).
Sales in North America remained relatively flat in February, up only 0.1% over year-ago to 1.4 million units.
U.S. deliveries rebounded slightly in February after January’s disappointing downturn due to severe weather across the nation. Although weather continued to put a damper on sales in February, the country was able to post an increase of 0.1% over year-ago with 1.2 million units sold.
Sales in Canada continued to climb in February, up 2.4%, while Mexico deliveries dipped 1.2%. This was the first year-over-year decline for the country since September.
In February, North America held a 21.6% share of worldwide sales, second behind the Asia-Pacific region.
South America posted year-over-year growth for the first time in five months in February, with deliveries up 0.5%. Total volume, however, was the lowest for the region since February 2013, with 394,000 vehicles sold.
Strong sales in Brazil were able to lift the region into positive territory. Deliveries surged 10.3% in the month, overshadowing sharp declines posted in Argentina (-19.1%), Chile (-9.0%) and Venezuela (-89.9%).
Through February, 13.5 million vehicles were sold worldwide, up 4.3% from like-2013.