More Than 85 Million Vehicles Sold Worldwide in 2013

Toyota was the world’s top seller for the second year in a row in 2013, with deliveries rising 2.4% to 9.9 million units.

Heather Rowe, Research Associate

January 31, 2014

3 Min Read
More Than 85 Million Vehicles Sold Worldwide in 2013

Strong gains in North America and the Asia-Pacific region boosted global sales 4.7% in 2013, with 85.7 million vehicles delivered worldwide.

Toyota was the world’s top seller for the second year in a row, with deliveries rising 2.4% to 9.9 million units. Volkswagen placed second with 9.73 million units, landing just ahead of the 9.71 vehicles sold by General Motors.

North American deliveries climbed 7.1% in the year to 18.7 million units, accounting for 21.9% of global volume. Sales rose in all three of the region’s countries, with Canada posting a record volume of 1.7 million units. Both Mexico and the U.S. recorded 6-year highs of 1.1 million and 15.9 million vehicles, respectively.

The Asia-Pacific region held a 44.5% share of the world market in 2013, 0.9 percentage points higher than 2012 and the largest share of any region. Sales jumped 6.9% to 38.1 million units, aided by solid growth in the region’s largest market, China, as well as slight gains in Japan and Australia.

Deliveries in China exceeded 20 million in 2013, giving the country the title of the world’s largest car market yet again. Sales soared 14% over 2012, assisted by the recovery of Japanese-brand vehicle sales that saw an acute downturn in 2012 due to a territorial dispute over islands in the East China Sea that caused some consumers to boycott Japanese products.

Sales also rose in countries such as Australia (3.3%), Japan (0.1%) and New Zealand (12.5%), helping to offset the year-over-year declines seen in India (9.0%), Indonesia (8.6%) and South Korea (0.1%).

Europe wasn’t able to move into positive territory for the year, but the region did record a 13.4% jump for the month of December, the largest year-over-year increase since May 2011. Price cuts by many automakers helped produce a slight recovery for the region that should extend into 2014.

Full-year vehicle sales in Europe fell 1.7% to 18.7 million, accounting for 21.8% of global volume, falling just behind North America.

Virtually all of Europe’s leading markets saw sales slump in 2013 due to the ongoing economic crisis. Germany posted its smallest annual volume since 2010, with sales of 3.2 million vehicles. This was down 4.0% from 2012’s nearly 4 million-unit total.

France, Italy and Russia saw sales plummet in the year as well, down 5.3%, 7.4% and 5.4%, respectively. The U.K. was the lone bright spot for 2013 with sales up 11.2% over 2012, mostly due to an impressive 29.6% growth in December as a result of attractive financing offers in the country.

Despite dropping for the third straight month in December, South America deliveries rose 2.1% in 2013 to 6.0 million units.

Brazil sales remained relatively flat in 2013, down just 0.9% from 2012 to 3.7 million units. However, this marked the first year-over-year decline for the country in a decade, following weak consumer confidence and tax increases due to a sharp economic slowdown. Venezuela also saw a 24.3% slump in 2013 following record inflation in the country.

Growth in Argentina and Chile negated these declines, recording increases of 16.1% and 9.8%, respectively.

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About the Author(s)

Heather Rowe

Research Associate, WardsAuto

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