Global vehicle sales stalled in June, inching up just 0.9% from year-ago to 7.4 million units, as slight gains in North America and Asia-Pacific were offset by declines in Europe and South America.

North America once again led the markets, up 8.0% from prior-year to 1.7 million units, accounting for 19.4% of global deliveries. June marked the region’s 25th consecutive month of year-over-year growth.

U.S. sales climbed 9% to 1.43 million units, with annualized light-vehicle deliveries hitting a 67-month high. Canada’s results were up less than 1% from year-ago to 175,000, while Mexico saw a more robust 6.4% rise to 86,500.

The Asia-Pacific region accounted for 42.0% of global sales, up 2.3% to 3.1 million units. China, the world’s largest vehicle market, accounted for the lion’s share of the growth, rising 11.2% to 1.75 million.

China’s gains were largely offset by declines across the region, including Japan, down 10.8%; India, down 6.9%; and South Korea, down 5.5%. Japan’s decline continues the downward trend in the market dating back to the termination of subsidies on eco-friendly cars in September 2012.

Europe’s vehicle sales in June fell from prior-year for the 18th time in the past 19 months, sliding 5.8% to 1.7 million units. The region accounted for 23.7% of global volume, compared with 25.3% in like-2012.

Among the region’s top five markets, declines in Germany (-4.9%), France (-8.6%), and Russia (-10.8%) from year-ago overshadowed gains in the U.K. and Spain, where sales rose 12.2% and 0.9%, respectively.

South America recorded its largest year-on-year sales decline since September 2012, while claiming 6.9% of world vehicles sales. Civil unrest contributed to a 9.8% drop in Brazil, the region’s largest market, where citizens staged protests over issues ranging from poor public services to government corruption.

World vehicle sales through June totaled 42.95 million units, up 3.1% from like-2012.
hrowe@wardsauto.com