By 2008, smaller car makers — those with production volumes of less than four million units per year — will have made significant gains in their share of overall global vehicle production, according to CSM Worldwide.
Production of the top six OEM groups in the light vehicle industry will grow at a pace of 1.8% on a compound rate from 2002 to 2008, the researcher said. This group includes General Motors, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, Renault/Nissan and Volkswagen. Outside the traditional mass markets of the US, Canada, Western Europe, Japan and Australia, this same group will grow at a 6.3% rate.
Another group of smaller, more flexible OEMs will grow at a pace of 5.3% globally to 2008. This group includes PSA, Honda, Hyundai and BMW. Outside the traditional mass markets, this group will expand significantly — at a pace of 12.1% per year.
“The message is that smaller is better in today’s marketplace,” said CSM global forecasting head Michael Robinet. “The big automakers have more burden, some of them need to address issues of overcapacity, and the economies of scale they once enjoyed have run their course. Smaller automakers are more nimble, they tend to have strong platform rationalisation strategies, and they stick to segments they understand.”
Honda and PSA are prime examples of smaller companies that are forecast by CSM to gain in global production share. At Honda, a regimented global platform approach reduces development and production costs, and a strong strategy across the B, C and C/D vehicle segments will create product breadth in China. PSA’s strategy calls for partnerships and OEM powertrain arrangements to extend into new vehicle segments without the burden of a heavy balance sheet.