The Global car market remained stable last year, despite significant shifts in certain markets.
Analysis by Jato Dynamics found that European, Chinese and US markets led to the first decline in gloabl car sales since 2009.
Stronger results in India, Brazil, Russia and South East Asia offset the regions with falling sales.
Total global car sales were recorded at 86.01m for the year.
India became the world’s fourth largest car market, as it was finally able to outsell Germany. India’s growth is projected to continue over the next few years, with it expected to become the third largest market by 2021.
China continued to lead the world rankings with 28.08 million sales, followed by Europe with 17.7 million sales and the US with 17.3 million sales.
2018 marked a record year for the sale of battery-powered electric vehicles. Passenger electric cars recorded 1.26 million sales throughout the year, up by a huge 74%. It was one of the highest increases among all car categories on the global market.
Jato says the rise can be explained by several factors. Firstly, Chinese demand for EVs soared throughout 2018, as the car-type gained more visibility among consumers, due in part to their promotion by local governments for their environmental impact. Secondly, Tesla finally took off. The Model 3 became the world’s best-selling EV, as it was boosted by sales in North America, where it first became available. Finally, the diesel crisis in Europe also helped to raise awareness among consumers about the benefits of driving electric.
SUVs once again drove sales in the global market, proving that the boom in demand for the segment was not just a fad, but a long-lasting trend that continues to appeal to consumers around the world. However, as was expected, growth in the segment did slow down to single digits. A record 29.77 million SUVs were sold in 2018, with volume up by 7% on 2017.
Toyota topped the global sales chart, with more than 8m vehicles sold. VW came second with 6.7m and Ford was third, selling 5.3m cars globally.