Russia’s goal for 2012 is to overtake Germany as Europe’s biggest auto market.
It is expected that Russia’s sales will rise 20.6% to 3.20 million units in 2012, while German sales are expected to slip to 3.1 million units from 3.17 million units last year, although in the first two months of this year sales in Germany were stable compared to last year. Avtostat, an agency who also observes the automobile market, is less optimistic. Its director, Sergei Udalov, expects more stagnation in 2012, the market could develop by plus or minus 5%.
The Center of Automotive Management expects sales to rise 5% to 68.5 million units worldwide, but also warns that the global growth forecast could be endangered by negative developments in Europe’s debt crisis, which could reduce worldwide demand for cars.
“After a record 2011, the global auto industry can look at the current year with cautious optimism,” said Stefan Bratzel, the head of CAM.
US sales of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles are expected to rise 9.6% to 14 million units, the highest since 2007, while for China is expected a modest 3.3% to 12.6 million units. Western Europe is expected to fall 5.6% to 12.1 million units.