Polk Predicts 2009 Global Car
will Fall to its Lowest Level in 11 Years
Press Release / R. L. Polk & Co 17mar2009
ESSEN, GERMANY – Global car sales will drop to 46.4 million in 2009, 18 percent lower than the previous year according to a global demand forecast released by R. L. Polk & Co. Although a recovery is expected in 2010, new registrations will remain below the 50 million mark.
Since mid-2008, the economic crisis has worsened and economic forecasts have steadily been downgraded. A global economic contraction in 2009 is now considered certain and as a result, Polk’s car demand forecast projects a large sales decline. After falling by five percent in 2008, demand is now expected to drop by another 18 percent in 2009, and global demand forecasts for 2009 and 2010 were also revised downward, by 15 and 16 million respectively (or 25%) relative to the mid-2008 forecast. Demand volume is expected to return to pre-crisis levels in 2012.
All told, the automotive industry is expected to lose about 70 million new registrations through 2015 as a result of the current crisis. Since some regions have sustained structural damage, Polk expects that long-term demand will be about five percent lower than originally assumed, or about four million cars a year.
The western industrialized regions, NAFTA and Western Europe, will return to their previous demand levels in 2014/2015, but will not display strong growth from that point forward.
Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe will show a higher rate of growth due to the less saturated nature of those markets. These regions will exceed their pre-crisis volumes in just two years. While less than 30 percent of global sales came from regions other than NAFTA and Western Europe before 2001, over half of the global demand will come from those regions beginning in 2012.
"The global automotive industry will overcome the current crisis and resume its course of growth. NAFTA and Western Europe will return to their previous levels by 2015, but the emerging markets will be the engines of long-term growth" according to Lionel Yron, director of consulting & analytics at Polk.