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New Automotive Data in Passport: Our Predictions for 2012 Come True

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New passenger car and commercial vehicle registrations data in Passport reveal that global vehicle demand is on track to increase by 5% again in 2012, to 79.5 million units, which is only slightly shy of the 6% growth we predicted back in April. Global vehicle sales are therefore once again tracking the growth of households with a disposable income of over US$10,000 and US$15,000, which Euromonitor International now forecasts to rise by 4.3% and 4.5% respectively in 2012. This does, however, belie the mixed performance of key vehicle markets around the world.

New Vehicle Registrations and Households with an Annual Disposable Income (ADI) over US$10,000 and US$15,000, 1994-2012

New Vehicle Registrations and Households with an Annual Disposable Income (ADI) over US$10,000 and US$15,000, 1994-2012

Source: Euromonitor International

The ongoing sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone continues to cripple vehicle sales in the region, which will fall for the fifth consecutive year, by around 1.2 million units or 11%, in 2012. However, the rebound in demand in Japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011 is on track to be of a similar positive magnitude and will therefore offset the double-digit decline in vehicle sales in the Eurozone, as discussed in “The Inevitability of Higher Global Vehicle Sales in 2012.”

New Vehicle Registrations by Region, 2005-2012

New Vehicle Registrations by Region, 2005-2012

Source: Euromonitor International

Demand in the rest of Europe is set to increase by 4% in 2012, although it would be flat but for Russia, where vehicle sales will nudge 3.2 million units – 14% and almost 400,000 units higher than in 2011. Vehicle sales are also recovering in the US in 2012 due to increasing employment, consumer confidence and credit availability as well as pent-up demand. To put this into perspective, the 13% growth expected in US vehicle demand alone will result in 1.7 million more units registered than in 2011, which accounts for about half of the additional 3.5 million sales globally in 2012. The three emerging markets of Brazil, India and China will, not surprisingly, contribute the lion’s share of the remaining 1.4 million additional vehicle sales in 2012 but Indonesia and Thailand also deserve some credit as vehicle sales in both markets will be at least 200,000 units higher than in 2011.

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