Economic and Market Report: state of the EU auto industry – First three quarters of 2022

This latest edition of ACEA’s Economic and Market Report covers the first three quarters of 2022, providing a detailed overview of passenger car and commercial vehicle registrations, as well as production, both in Europe and in key markets around the world.

The 15-page Economic and Market Report contains a wealth of information and can be downloaded for free by clicking here.

Key takeaways

EU economic outlook

  1. GDP growth in the EU is expected to decline from 5.4% in 2021 to 3.3% this year and 0.3% in 2023.
  2. Consumer price inflation in the European Union is projected to exceed 9% in 2022, before decreasing to 7% in 2023.
  3. Unemployment rates in the EU remain unusually low and are forecast to decline to a 6.2% historic low this year.

Passenger car registrations

  1. Global car market remained vulnerable to ongoing supply chain pressures and rising geopolitical tensions. This caused a decline in global new car sales by 2.9% from January to September this year.
  2. In the European Union, car registrations fell by 9.9% to 6.8 million units over the first nine months of 2022.
  3. Passenger car sales in North America reached 9.5 million units, down by 13.3% compared to the same period in 2021.
  4. January–September cumulative volumes in China increased by 8.2% to more than 15.3 million cars registered.
  5. Japanese and South Korean car sales declined by 8.7% and 7.5% respectively from January to September as shortages of semiconductors and other components continued to impact production.

Passenger car production

  1. During the first three quarters of 2022, nearly 8 million cars were manufactured in the European Union, 5.8% more than during the same period in 2021.
  2. North American output increased by 11.8% during the first nine months of 2022 – to nearly 8 million cars.
  3. With roughly 1.6 million units produced from January to September, South American volumes increased by 12.4% compared to the same period in 2021.
  4. Chinese car production rebounded strongly to reach 16.4 million units from January to September (+15.1%).
  5. Nearly 50 million cars were manufactured globally during the first three quarters of 2022, up 9% compared to the same nine-month period in 2021.

Commercial vehicle registrations

  1. 1.2 million commercial vehicles were registered in the EU from January to September 2022, a year-on-year decline of 17.6%.
  2. During the first three quarters of 2022, EU van sales decreased by 21.2% to reach 0.9 million units.
  3. By contrast, the number of new trucks registered across the EU grew by 1.5%, with 220,066 units sold from January to September.

Commercial vehicle production

  1. Production in Europe is expected to decrease by 1.2% to nearly 3.1 million commercial vehicles in 2022.
  2. North American production is anticipated to reach roughly 4.6 million units in 2022 – or 10.5% more compared to 2021.
  3. Severely disrupted by lockdowns during the first half of 2022, the Chinese commercial vehicle output for 2022 is projected to be down by 29% to 3.9 million units.
  4. Full-year production in Japan and Korea is expected to decrease by 5.2% to 1.2 million units in 2022.

Should you have any questions about this Economic and Market Report, please don’t hesitate to contact the ACEA statistics department.

Nearly 50 million passenger cars were manufactured globally during the first three quarters of 2022, up 9% compared to the same nine-month period in 2021. However, this was still around 5 million units below pre-pandemic levels in 2019.


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This information was presumed to be correct at the time of publication. However, ACEA is not responsible for any inconsistencies or errors in the data.

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