FRANKFURT -- The global auto market will continue to expand in the coming years, driven particularly by China, where sales will nearly double by 2019, consultants PwC said in a study released today.
"While sales of automobiles and light trucks are set to nearly double in China between 2012 and 2019, the car markets in Europe and the United States will expand, but the number of registrations will meet the levels seen in the past only with difficulty," PwC wrote in the study.
According to PwC's experts, auto sales will reach 27.7 million units in China in 2019, compared with 15.8 million in 2012. This year, the figure is projected to rise to 18.1 million units, according to the study.
"In China and other developing countries, there is room for the car market to grow further as more people are in a position to buy their first car," said Felix Kuhnert, the head of PwC's automotive division in Germany and Europe.
Europe's Picture Brightens
Europe, for its part, could begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel as sales stabilize in the second half of this year.
But PwC's analysts are nevertheless penciling in much slower growth for Europe than China, with 12.1 million vehicles to be sold this year and 14.9 million in 2019.
That is well below the record 16 million vehicles sold before the crisis in 2007.
Meanwhile, sales in the U.S. are set to rise from 15.4 million vehicles to 16.7 million.
"The automobile markets in western industrialized countries are largely saturated," Kuhnert said.
Growth would come primarily from customers who need to replace their cars, a purchase they have postponed up until now as a result of the economic crisis.
In order to meet global demand, worldwide production is set to expand by 25.5 million vehicles to 104.7 million in 2019, with additional production capacity to be built up in the fast-growing markets such as China and developing Asian countries, PwC said.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013