Forecast: Positive global outlook seen for 2011 image

Global new light-vehicle sales this year are projected to reach 76.5 million units in 2011, which would surpass the record of 72 million light vehicles sold 2010, according to J.D. Power and Associates Automotive Forecasting.

Auto sales in the so-called emerging economies made up more than half of global sales for the first time in 2010, said J.D. Power, which tracks auto sales.

Sales in North America this year are expected to climb 11 percent higher than last year, to 15.5 million units. Sales in the U.S. alone are projected to reach 13 million units, an increase of 12 percent over last year.

“Overall growth in the world economy has been supporting further recovery in auto sales,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of automotive operations at J.D. Power and Associates. “We’re seeing signals of stability and increased consumer demand for new vehicles as economic optimism increases.”

China, the No. 1 auto market, will sell 6 million more vehicles in 2011 than No. 2 United States, J.D. Power said.
ON THE SAME TIME, India is becoming an increasingly important player in the global automotive industry, both in terms of vehicle production and vehicle sales. The Indian passenger car market was the second-fastest growing of the major markets in 2010, behind China (India 30%, China 33.2%).

ANOTHER IMPORTAN PLAYER WILL BE RUSSIA. According to the recent studies made by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) it was reported that Russia would become the sixth largest in the car market by the year 2020.
However, in Europe things will not go very wheel.
In contrast to the steady recovery taking place in North America, Europe is expected to see a slight decrease in its light-vehicle market in 2011, with sales down to 18.1 million units.

“While the underlying economic drivers are expected to improve, Western Europe will continue to face challenges in 2011,” said Schuster. “Payback from the discontinuation of the scrappage program that extended into 2010 in many markets has not been as significant as expected, and the debt crisis remains a serious risk.”

As a result, light-vehicle sales in Western Europe are expected to be 14.2 million units, down 2 percent from 2010. Conversely, Eastern European sales have rebounded more quickly due mainly to incentives, such as the scrappage program in Russia and low interest rates in Turkey. In 2011, further recovery in Eastern Europe is expected, with sales increasing 4 percent to 3.9 million units.