China managed to surpass Europe in auto sales, and analysts expect the same in 2013 too.
Automakers in Europe are struggling with falling demand caused by the euro crisis, especially in southern Europe, where austerity programs have dramatically affected prosperity. China, on the other hand, has managed to surpass Europe in auto sales for the first time ever due to the growing middle class.
According to a report published by Germany’s VDA automobile industry association, 13.2 million vehicles were registered in China in 2012, compared with 12.5 million vehicles in Europe, a drop from 13.6 vehicles registered in 2011. There are several reasons for this change, among which the rapid growth of China’s middle class, but also a dramatic drop in demand in Europe. With some European countries seeing a modest growth and even more dealing with the recession, consumers are still waiting for better times before replacing their aging vehicles.
According to Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, head of the Center Automotive Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen, the expansion of the Chinese auto market is expected to continue and even surpass the US in several years. He also predicted that by 2030 China could sell more cars than Europe and the US together