Blog: Straws in the wind, blowing in all directions
Dave Leggett | 11 October 2011
While there seems to be a degree of consensus that the auto industry will be facing some softer demand conditions over the next few years in some regions, the overall picture remains mixed.
The US market is coming back, even though the US economy isn't looking all that strong. As Carlos Ghosn has just pointed out, the global vehicle market will hit a new record this year. Some makers are still experiencing fairly tight capacity conditions (eg BMW, Daimler - cars and also trucks). The heavy commercial vehicle markets in Europe and North America are bouncing back strongly off recent low points. The emerging markets are still driving global volumes up and there have been plenty of announcements of new investments lately, like this one from Nissan.
The concerns still seem to be mainly about Europe and more especially economic and political developments there (but that's not to say everything is completely fine in North America, it's just a little less immediately precarious). Scania is getting ready to reduce output from November and many firms will be looking at demand prospects for 2012 and considering where their capacity needs to be.
I'll be talking to the professional forecasters over the next few weeks to get the latest assessments and views.
I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....
Given the startling complexity of obtaining a journalist visa for China - the code 'J2' is now indelibly stamped on my mind - it was with some surprise how swiftly I managed to sail through airport im...