|Emerging markets back global auto sales
Booming demand for more mobility in emerging countries is driving up global sales of new vehicles, making up for falling sales in Europe, the world automakers' federation OICA said Wednesday.
In the first six months of the current year, new vehicle registrations rose by 2.8 percent to 42.64 million units worldwide, the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers -- or OICA -- told a news conference on the sidelines of the IAA auto show.
"Considering we have a major crisis in Europe, this is not a bad result,'' OICA chief Patrick Blain told reporters.
By region, new vehicle sales in Europe fell by 6.0 percent to 9.3 million, while sales in the Americas grew by 6.6 percent to 12.38 million units and sales in Asia, Pacific and the Middle East were up 4.9 at 20.19 million, the data showed.
"Emerging markets are again leading this growth. Mature markets now represent only 47 percent of worldwide sales. (They) are now a minority,'' Blain said.
China and the United States were the world's biggest markets by sales, Blain said.
New vehicle sales in China jumped by 12.3 percent to 10.78 million and US sales grew by 7.3 percent to 7.96 million cars.
In terms of passenger cars alone, global sales grew by 1.9 percent to 31.46 million, with European sales contracting by 5.8 percent to 8.14 million units, sales in the Americas up 4.5 percent at 6.8 million units and sales in Asia, Pacific and Middle East up 5.1 percent at 15.95 million.
In China, passenger car sales were up 13.8 percent at 8.67 million units and US car sales grew by 4.2 percent to 3.9 million, the OICA data showed.
Booming demand in the emerging economies is also buoying global vehicle production which rose by 1.8 percent to 43.7 million units in the six-month period.
Over past eight years, output had increased by 30 percent in all, Blain said.
The industry had seen "some regular ups and some steep downs,'' he said.
"It would definitely need a huge global crisis to stop growth at global level. We're still in crisis in some areas of this world, but this does not prevent global production'' from continuing to grow, Blain said.
"The need for mobility in emerging countries is now higher and more than compensates the decrease in big region like Europe,'' he said.
Overall, the OICA calculated that there were a total 1.097 billion vehicles in use worldwide in 2011, the latest year for which data were available.
That represented an increase of 4.0 percent over 2010. And 73 percent of those vehicles were passenger cars, OICA said.
The so-called motorisation rate -- the number of cars per 1,000 inhabitants -- was lowest in Africa, where there were just 41 cars per 1,000 people.
By contrast, in the United States, Canada and Mexico, there were 644 vehicles for every 1,000 inhabitants.
In China, the motorisation rate still low at just 68 but growing fast, Blain said.
In a country like Indonesia, too, where there are 84 cars per 1,000 inhabitants, there was ``huge potential'', Blain said.