Trends in the markets for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles
We expect trends in the markets for passenger cars in the individual regions to be mixed in 2019. Overall, global demand for new vehicles will probably be at the 2018 level. We are forecasting growing demand for passenger cars worldwide in the period from 2020 to 2023.
Trends in the markets for light commercial vehicles in the individual regions will be mixed again in 2019; on the whole, we anticipate a slight dip in demand in 2019. We expect a return to the growth trajectory for the years 2020 to 2023.
The Volkswagen Group is well prepared for the future challenges pertaining to the automotive mobility business and the mixed developments in regional automotive markets. Our brand diversity, our presence in all major world markets, our broad, selectively expanded product range and pioneering technologies and services place us in a good competitive position worldwide. Our goal is to offer all customers mobility and innovations suited to their needs and thus ensuring long-term success.
For 2019, we anticipate that the volume of new passenger car registrations in Western Europe will be in line with that seen in the reporting period. The uncertain impact of the United Kingdom’s planned exit from the EU is likely to further exacerbate the ongoing uncertainty among consumers, continuing to put a damper on demand. We expect to see slight growth in the Italian market in 2019, whereas growth momentum in Spain will probably slow somewhat. We anticipate volumes in the French passenger car market to be on a level with the previous year. In the United Kingdom, we estimate that new vehicle registrations in 2019 will be at the prior-year level.
For light commercial vehicles we expect demand in Western Europe in 2019 to narrowly miss the prior-year level owing to the uncertain impact of the United Kingdom’s planned exit from the EU. We estimate a marked decline in Italy and a moderate decline in the United Kingdom and France. In Spain, we anticipate a noticeable increase in demand.
Sales of passenger cars in 2019 are expected to slightly exceed the prior-year figures in markets in Central and Eastern Europe. In Russia, we anticipate a market volume that is slightly higher than in the previous year following the marked recovery in the reporting period. The number of new registrations should continue to grow in most of the other markets in this region.
Registrations of light commercial vehicles in the Central and Eastern European markets in 2019 will probably be somewhat lower than in the previous year. In Russia, we expect the market volume to decline perceptibly compared with 2018.
We anticipate a further substantial downturn in the passenger car market in Turkey. The volume of new registrations in South Africa in 2019 is likely to increase slightly year-on-year.
After a positive performance overall in recent years, we expect demand in the German passenger car market to fall slightly year-on-year in 2019.
We anticipate that registrations of light commercial vehicles will be around the previous year’s level.
The volume of demand in the markets for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (up to 6.35 tonnes) in North America as a whole and in the United States of America is likely to be slightly lower in 2019 than in the prior year. Demand will probably remain highest for models in the SUV and pickup segments. In Canada, the number of new registrations is also projected to be on a level with the previous year. By contrast, in Mexico we anticipate that demand will pick up slightly year-on-year.
Owing to their dependence on demand for raw materials worldwide, the South American markets for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles are heavily influenced by developments in the global economy. We expect to see an overall moderate increase in new registrations in the South American markets in 2019 compared with the previous year. In Brazil, demand volume is expected to rise markedly again in 2019 following the increase in the reporting period. However, we anticipate that demand in Argentina will be perceptibly lower year-on-year.
In 2019, the passenger car markets in the Asia-Pacific region are expected at the prior-year level. Demand in China should be around the previous year’s level. Attractively priced entry-level models in the SUV segment in particular should continue to see strong demand. For as long as there is no resolution in sight, the trade dispute between China and the United States will continue to weigh on business and consumer confidence. In the Indian market we anticipate somewhat stronger growth than in the previous year. Japan’s market volume is forecast to diminish moderately in 2019.
The market volume for light commercial vehicles in 2019 will probably just miss the previous year’s figure. We are expecting demand in the Chinese market to fall noticeably short of the prior-year level. For India, we are forecasting a moderately higher volume in 2019 than in the reporting period. In the Japanese market, demand is likely to be moderately below the previous year’s level.