Wherever you look in the world's automotive industry, 2009 is proving to be a tough one. Indeed, the scale of the downturn in automotive markets and the impact on vehicle and parts producers, coming after a period of prolonged boom, is unprecedented. However, an even more serious financial meltdown and the worst scenarios for the world's economy were successfully averted. The world's financial system - if not healed - is at least partially functioning and not in imminent danger of collapse. The purpose of this briefing is to provide a review of the latest major developments in automotive markets alongside an assessment of prospects. As the industry prepares for the 2010 model year, there is at least a growing conviction that the worst of the uncertainties that governed the first half of 2009 are behind us.