For much of 2014, the auto industry jumped from marvel to horror, with numerous turmoil and a few, but very shinny bright stars. The year that just started might bring some relief, and the established players will continue their rule.
Last year’s automotive market was hit by some headwinds, some of them totally unexpected. For example, the South American region represented a troubled asset for most of the global players that invested heavily there. Throughout Europe, the year that should have heralded a US-like recovery was lukewarm at best, with numerous economic uncertainties in some big, established markets. For example, Russia, one of the fastest growing auto markets, has been hit by an economic drop, numerous western sanctions triggered by the political crisis in Ukraine and the crude oil price drop. Elsewhere in Europe, the only skilled auto markets were the UK, buoyed by very cheap credit and Spain, supported by an ongoing subsidy scheme.
Fortunately, in 2014 the global passenger car market posted a positive result thanks to the growth accounted in the three major regions – the United States, China and the European Union. Worldwide passenger car deliveries should come up with a 2% increase to 74.7 million new vehicles in 2014 when the final figures are tallied. And, according to German Association of the Automotive Industry, VDA the forecast for 2015 is still positive, with another 2% climb this year to 76.4 million units. Naturally, China and the US will lead the way – with strong increases in the first and second global markets.