Economic and Market Report: state of the EU auto industry – Full-year 2018

ACEA has published its full-year 2018 Economic and Market Report with the latest figures on the registration, production and trade of passenger cars and commercial vehicles, both in Europe and around the world.

This 29-page Economic and Market Report contains a wealth of information and can be downloaded by clicking here. Some of the report’s key takeaways include:

Passenger car registrations

  • EU car registrations remained stable (+0.1%) last year.
  • In 2018, car demand in the United States decreased by 0.4%.
  • Chinese passenger car sales fell by 3.5% in 2018.
  • 79 million cars were sold worldwide last year, -0.8% compared to 2017.

Passenger car registrations by fuel type

  • Petrol expanded its EU market share by almost 6.5 percentage points in 2018, accounting for 56.7% of car sales.
  • Electrically-chargeable vehicles accounted for only 2.0% of new cars registered across the EU throughout 2018.

Passenger car production

  • In 2018, car production on the European continent decreased by 1.7%.
  • North American output totalled nearly 13 million cars in 2018 (-1.3%).
  • Overall in 2018, Chinese production fell by 2.5%, with 23.1 million cars built.

Exports and imports of passenger cars

  • 2018 saw a slight decline in EU car export volumes (-1.6%) and a substantial increase in imports (+9.3%).
  • The United States accounted for 29% of the total EU export value last year, followed by China (17.5%) and Japan (6.6%).

Commercial vehicle registrations

  • In 2018, EU demand for commercial vehicles went up by 3.2% compared to 2017.
  • 2.5 million commercial vehicles were registered across the European Union last year, the highest volume on record since 2007. 

Commercial vehicle production

  • Total EU commercial vehicle output grew by 2.6% to reach 2.8 million units in 2018. 
  • Chinese production declined by 9.3% last year, going from 5.7 to 5.2 million units.
  • North American output increased by 2.6%, largely driven by heavy trucks (+20%).

Exports and imports of commercial vehicles

  • Last year, the value of both EU imports (+2.3%) and exports (+0.2%) of commercial vehicles increased slightly − resulting in a trade surplus of nearly €2.8 billion.

Should you have any additional questions about this Economic and Market Report, please contact the ACEA Statistics department.


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.


Reproduction of the content of this document is not permitted without the prior written consent of ACEA. Whenever reproduction is permitted, ACEA shall be referred to as source of the information. Quoting or referring to this document is permitted provided ACEA is referred to as the source of the information. 

Content type Publication
Vehicle types All vehicles
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