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Image: Motorpress

 • 86.05-million vehicles sold in 2017 in 52 markets
 • India closed the gap on Germany  
 • Global demand for SUVs continued

New York - The automotive industry grew in 2017, with 86.05 million units (LCVs and passenger cars) sold, according to  Jato dynamics.

This is a significant 2.05-million more than in 2016 and represents a 2.4% increase on 2016. Jato's global analyst Felipe Munoz says: "The automotive market performed well in 2017, with established economies maintaining growth, whilst developing markets like Russia and Brazil returned to growth following declines last year."

SUVs contributed significantly to the automotive industry’s strong performance, accounting for the largest market share in China, North America and Europe (the three largest regions), yet were not as popular in the three smallest regions – Asia-Pacific, Japan and South Korea and Latin America.

The top 5 brands globally are: Lists by Jato Dynamics

1 Toyota
2 Volkswagen
3 Ford
4 Honda 
5 Nissan

The top 5 models globally are:

1 Ford F-Series

2 Toyota Corolla

3 VW Golf

4 Nissan X-Trail / Rogue

5 Honda Civic


Munoz says: "The results in 2017 show that despite the crisis with the diesel fuel type and localised issues such as Brexit causing European uncertainty, the automotive market as a whole is continuing to grow. It will be interesting to see how the role of the emerging markets increases in importance, with India projected to overtake Germany as the fourth largest car market globally, and Latin America showing positive signs."

SUVs reached a new record market share in 2017, accounting for 34% of the total market for the period. Results for the 52 markets analysed show that 27.85-million SUVs were sold in 2017, 3.14-million units more than 2016, which is a 12.7% increase.

Compact SUVs accounted for almost 40% of total SUV sales, growing by 9.2%, the lowest growth rate of all SUV sub-segments. Growth in the SUV segment was largely driven by the midsize SUV (D-SUV) sub-segment, which grew by 16.6%. Large SUVs (E-SUVs) posted a significant growth of 15.7%, with the North American region accounting for almost 2 in 3 vehicles sold, and volume in China doubling.

The continued dominance of the SUV meant sales of traditional segments continued to decline, with compact cars, midsize sedans, wagons and MPVs impacted the most. Compact cars registered 14.92 million sales, a decline of 4.5% on the previous year, which can be attributed to reduced demand in the big five markets, and in China which has succumbed to the SUV boom.

The Ford F Series was once again the world’s best-selling car, as it further exerted its dominance over the Toyota Corolla, which came in second. As usual, the Ford-F Series took the top spot as a result of strong US demand, which accounted for 80% of its total volume.

The Nissan X-Trail/Rogue was the world’s best-selling SUV and the overall fourth best-selling vehicle, selling 814 000 units in 2017, an increase in volume of 6.5%.

Honda and Volkswagen both had strong years, placing three models inside the world’s top ten. The performance of the Volkswagen Tiguan was also notable, with outstanding demand in China.


Other notable performances were from the Baojun 510, Toyota C-HR, Geely Emgrand, the all-new Jeep Compass, the Peugeot 3008 SUV and the Chevrolet Cavalier which were all new launches that proved popular in 2017.

Japan is one of the largest and most siginificant markets for Alternative Fueled Vehicles (AFVs). However, Norway maintained its leading market share, accounting for 41.9% of AFVs sold, followed by Japan at 27.8% and Israel at 9.5%.

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