Global Automotive Industry Review 1998
Light vehicle production on a global basis slipped a bit during 1998 calendar year, declining nearly 2% to 51.6 million units. This decline from 1997 stems from the collapse of the economies of the Asia Pacific region, where automotive output declined by 11%, to 14.5 million units, as well as a knock-on decline in South America, where light vehicle production tumbled by over 17%, to stand at just over the two million unit mark. Production of light vehicles in North America went sideways during 1998, holding at approximately 15.6 million units, thanks partially to an unexpected 54-day strike versus General Motors during the summer months. These regional declines were partially offset by strong 8% growth in automotive production in West Europe, where production topped the 16 million unit mark, and near 5% growth in East Europe, where output totaled 2.8 million units.
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