TORONTO, Ont.– Global car sales increased 2% year-over-year (y/y) in April, led by a 6% y/y advance in the developed markets of Western Europe, North America and Japan, according to the Scotiabank Global Auto Report.
“The global auto market remains on target to climb to record highs in 2015 — the sixth consecutive annual record,” said Carlos Gomes, Senior Economist and Auto Industry Specialist at Scotiabank.
“However, despite ongoing gains the regional divergence is widening. Economic conditions and auto sales have shifted into acceleration mode across Western Europe, are in cruise control in North America and Asia, but are stuck in reverse in Russia and South America.”
“Car sales in Russia plunged more than 40% below a year earlier in April, while activity in South America dropped 20% y/y, largely due to a sharp slide in Brazil,” said Gomes.
“The ongoing weakness in South America points to the first back-to-back annual decline in car sales in the region since the bursting of the global tech bubble at the start of the millennium.”
Volumes in the United States and Canada exceeded an annualized 19 million units in May — the highest level in nearly a decade. Sales in Canada set a record for the month of May and remained above an annualized 1.9 million units for the second consecutive month.