J.D. Power’s Humphrey Offers Brighter Outlook for Global Auto Market


Leslie Cocco

The global automotive industry, including North America, is better able to keep production in line with demand than in the past, according to John Humphrey, senior vice president and general manager of J.D. Power’s global auto operations. John told participants at our 2012 International Automotive Roundtable today that J.D. Power is largely bullish about the auto market in the near future, projecting global sales of 79.2 million light vehicles in 2012, and rising to 99 million unit sales in 2015.

Humphrey stated that more than half (55%) of global auto sales in 2015 are projected to be in emerging markets, and he pointed out that drivers of this growth include the return of sub-prime-credit customers to the market, decreasing credit restrictions, and increasing demand.

John Humphrey

Humphrey also said there are risks to this growth: geopolitical tensions in the Mideast Gulf region; the negative impact of the Euro debt crisis; unemployment; the economic slowdown in China; and the lack of infrastructure in emerging markets.

Humphrey also discussed the inevitable change in the market in relation to Gen Y consumers. Changes that he mentioned are technology-driven, and relate to the way that young shoppers expect to do their shopping—online, via mobile, and Apps—and the expectations they have for technology in vehicles. A majority, or 79%, of shoppers are going to third-party sites, rather than OEM or dealer sites, which makes brand management and messaging a challenge, he said. Continue reading ›