Report: Light Vehicle Assembly to Exceed 83 Million Units

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DETROIT— PwC’s automotive analyst group, Autofacts, today announced that it expects 2013 global light vehicle assembly will exceed 83 million units, an increase of 5.1 percent from 2012’s total.  Autofacts expects the global market to remain positive overall, while the European Union and Japan will continue to be areas of concern.

Megatrends driving the global automotive industry:

European Union. The European outlook remains a significant concern for the automotive industry, both in terms of its regional importance as well as the threat of a global contagion scenario.  While there continues to be fluctuation below the topline, the region as a whole is expected to see a further, albeit slower, decline in 2013.  Most markets will likely see a depressed first half of 2013 with some territories realizing a slight recovery as economic conditions begin to improve toward the end of the year. With this in mind, Autofacts is forecasting EU assembly of 15.6 million units in 2013, a decline of 200k units compared to 2012.

North America.   While 2012 was a boom year for the region, sales and assembly growth are expected to taper in 2013.  Pent-up demand continues to exist in the market with the average fleet age in the U.S. at approximately 11 years. U.S. sales are expected to reach 15.3 million units in 2013, up from 14.4 million units in 2012.  In terms of assembly for the region, Autofacts is forecasting 15.8 million units for 2013, up from 15.4 million units in 2012.

BRIC Recovery.   After a relatively slow growth year in 2012, BRIC markets are expected to start heating up again in 2013.  As expected, China will lead the way with 2013 assembly forecasted to reach 18.9m units, up from 16.4 million in 2012.
Global Emission Standards. Increasingly stringent emission standards continue to drive innovation around improving vehicle efficiency.  Improving existing technologies, while exploring new opportunities are playing a significant role across multiple industry sectors.

Cyber Security Threats. The rapid advancement of the industry has been underscored by gains in technology, including advanced manufacturing techniques, telematics, and infotainment.  Technology-sharing agreements and JVs between OEMs will further increase innovation – and cross-border, cross-company IP risk.
“Automotive companies remain cautious about economic conditions in Europe,” said Rick Hanna, global automotive leader, PwC.  “However, overall we estimate that the global automotive industry will prosper in 2013 from emerging market growth and remaining pent-up demand in the U.S.”

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