Economic and Market Report: state of the EU auto industry – Quarter 1 2018

ACEA has published its Economic and Market Report for the first quarter of 2018, 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

  • The EU car market grew by 0.7% during the first quarter of 2018.
  • In the United States, passenger car sales went up by 2.0%.
  • Chinese demand increased by 5.6%, representing 29.5% of global sales.
  • 20.3 million cars were sold around the world, or 2.8% more than last year.

Passenger car registrations by fuel type

  • EU demand for new petrol cars grew significantly (+14.6%) from January to March 2018.
  • Electrically‐chargeable vehicles accounted for 1.7% of all cars sold in the EU.

Passenger car production

  • After reaching pre-crisis levels last year, EU output slowed down (-1.4%) so far in 2018.
  • Due to weak domestic demand, US car production decreased by 3.4%.
  • During the first quarter, car production growth also slowed in China (-0.7%).

Exports of passenger cars

  • From January to March, the value of EU-built cars heading for the US declined by 6.6%.
  • Nevertheless, the United States remains the EU’s most valuable export market for cars, representing 27% of EU exports worth a total of €8.8 billion.

Commercial vehicle registrations

  • During the first quarter, demand for new commercial vehicles in the EU increased by 2.7%.
  • More than half a million new vans were registered across the EU so far this year. 

Commercial vehicle production

  • European commercial vehicle production is expected to increase by 3.4% in 2018.
  • Production of commercial vehicles in China is estimated to fall by 10.2% this year.

Exports of commercial vehicles

  • The total value of EU truck exports declined by 4.9% compared to a year ago. 
  • So far in 2018, commercial vehicles generated a trade surplus of €631 million for the EU.

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

This report’s information was presumed correct at the time of publication. 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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