The World’s vehicle population eclipsed the one billion mark in 2010, and continues to rapidly grow as China and emerging markets continue their growth. While the United States still has by far the most registered vehicles per capita, other countries are seeing dramatic increases. According to a report in Ward’s Auto, China recently replaced Japan as the world’s number two in volume, but Japan still has a far greater per capita ratio at 1:1.7 versus China’s 1:17. The United States has approximately 240 million registered vehicles, about three times as much as China.
Other countries such as India and Brazil have closed the gap as they develop a larger economically viable population. While they haven’t had the explosive growth that China has experienced, the gains are impressive. A growing middle class and the availability of cheaper cars in developing markets have been a large catalyst. A few weeks ago, we reported that Toyota was looking to emerging markets for new growth. The company released the $9000 Etios in India in 2010, and is projecting half of all sales will come from these markets by 2015. The automaker will release up to eight new vehicles in the coming years to catch up to Volkswagen, GM, and Hyundai, the leading automakers in this segment. Toyota’s Daihatsu brand is being pegged to produce cars that will slot below the Etios.
Source: Ward’s Auto