Global Auto Sales Shift Hampers Reducing Vehicle Emissions

As emerging markets, led by the BRIC countries, eclipse mature markets in global auto sales growth, it will become more challenging to control or reduce emissions from vehicles powered by internal combustion engines (ICEs).

John Humphrey

A major reason is that passenger-vehicle buyers in these markets already tend to be more sensitive to price pressure than are buyers in economically mature markets, which favors the sale of traditional ICE-powered passenger vehicles. Therefore, it is unlikely that buyers in these developing markets will accept the price premium charged for hybrid-electric or battery-electric powertrains with a price differential expected to average about US $11,000.

Although some governments, such as China’s, are taking steps to reduce auto-related carbon emissions, the sheer volume of vehicles being added to the global fleet during the next decade will largely negate these efforts, which means carbon emissions and overall air quality will get worse before it gets better. Continue reading ›

Stunning Growth in Emerging Markets Overshadows Mature Auto Markets

John Humphrey

A new world order has been established with respect to global automotive sales. With China at the forefront, emerging markets—especially the BRIC countries, which also include Brazil, Russia and India—already have overtaken mature automotive markets in terms of sales, and will continue to be the primary source of growth for the sector going forward.

In 2010, light-vehicle sales in these emerging markets comprised slightly more than one-half (51%) of global sales. Going forward, the share of emerging markets is expected to increase steadily to 60% of global automotive sales in 2015. Sales in China alone in 2015 are projected to reach 29 million units, with the United States following with just 16.5 million unit sales. The U.S. and other mature markets like Western Europe and Japan are expected to return to pre-recession sales levels by 2015. Continue reading ›