US, Europe and Japan may be saturated in terms of car ownership, but the four major emerging markets are expected to continue to exhibit strong growth.
According to Polk Marketing Systems, passenger car demand in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) markets grew to more than 11.5m units. The lowest growth was 11% in India, while Russia saw the fastest rate at 31%.
China is the largest of BRIC market with over 6m cars sold in 2007. Russia is the second largest having broken through the 2m barrier for the first time last year.
Polk said that demand for new vehicles is rising as a result of good economic conditions and rising incomes, but also because demand for used car imports is falling as countries set tougher environmental and safety standards.
Polk consultant Gunnar Gaedke said local manufacturing is paramount to manufacturers’ performance. This is evidenced by the fact that the Lada in Russia and Maruti in India have lost their dominance position as overseas manufacturers have stepped up investment. In the long term, domestic manufacturers will only produce one in three vehicles in BRIC countires.
By 2015 Polk is forecasting that 20m cars will be sold in the four BRIC markets, which will mean demand will have more than doubled within 10 years.
A large proportion of cars sold will be low cost models.