September data for Global Light Vehicles has now been released by LMC Automotive and shows stabilising sales at a 88.7 million units Seasonally Adjusted Rate. Year-on-year, the September global market is actually up 0.5%, sporting the first gain of 2020. In terms of volumes, September is at 7.647.006 units vs. 7.606.879 a year ago, with the year-to-date volume now down -19.4% (vs. -22.4%) last month to 53.999.897 vs. 67.016.859 so far this year. The sore point remains the loss of a ghastly 13 million sales worldwide compared to the same period in 2019. In the detail, South Korea (+21.5%), Eastern Europe (+19.7%), China (+9.3%), the USA (+4.4%), Western Europe (+1.3%) all post solid scores while Brazil (-10.4%) and Japan (-14.4%) disappoint.
The main interest in LMC figures is the availability of SAAR figures for most region. World sales SAAR are down -17.8% to 88.732465 vs. 90.371.477 a year ago,, USA is down -18.4% to 16.262.871 vs, 16.991.330 and Western Europe is down -25,7% to 14.564.710 vs. 12.282.757. Japan falls -15.1% to 4.949.091, South Korea is actually up 4.6% to 1.846.952, China down 8% to 29.182.650 and Brazil/Argentina (-33.1%) remaining the most affected in the world as far as regions are concerned. In many markets, pent-up demand accumulated during lockdowns has for the most part dried out, showing the true level of recovery. This appears especially valid in Western Europe.
To be noted is the unabated growth of the Chinese market. The SAAR exceeds 29 million units / year for the third consecutive month, a level it has now seen since the record years of 2016 and 2017. Wholesales of New Energy vehicles shoot up 68% year-on-year mainly due to the arrival of the new Wuling Hongguang MINI EV which has drastically reduced the price of entry into the EV world, with a starting price of 28.800¥ or 3.600€ and US$4.200). As we analysed before, the MINI EV has the potential to completely reshape the New Energy market in China and potentially the world.