• Forecasts 2013 global automotive light vehicle assembly to exceed 83m units and top 107m by 2019;
  • BRIC markets and North America driving growth, EU and Japan remain areas of concern.

PwC's automotive analyst group, Autofacts, has said that it expects 2013 global light vehicle assembly to exceed 83m units, an increase of 5.1% from 2012's total.  Autofacts expects the global market to remain positive overall, with BRIC markets and North America driving growth, while the European Union and Japan will continue to be areas of concern.

The Autofacts research note summarises the position by major markets: 

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 US at approximately 11 years. US 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 18.9 million units, up from 16.4 million in 2012.

 "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 US."