Emerging Markets Drive Light Vehicle Growth


The worlds light vehicle fleet size stood at just over 1 billion in 2013 and is projected to reach nearly 1.4 billion by 2021, with the highest growth in emerging markets, according to analysis by IHS Markit.

Mike Wall, director of automotive analysis for IHS Markit, said during a webinar Sept. 21 that the size of a countrys light vehicle fleet – which includes cars and light commercial vehicles in operation – is of critical importance from the automotive aftermarket perspective.

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The United States still has the largest overall vehicle parc at about 265 million vehicles on the road in 2016, he said, with some growth yet to be had.

While Chinas light vehicle fleet is around 180 million vehicles this year, he said that amount is expected to nearly double by 2021. India is also expected to experience a near doubling in light vehicle fleet size, he said, though in that case to around 50 million vehicles by 2021.

Fleets in countries such as Japan, Germany, France, Brazil and Russia are projected to either remain flat or experience only modest growth through 2021.

Emerging markets have a significant opportunity to grow vehicle parc, which obviously has implications for both OEM supplier and aftermarket alike, Wall said. These are significant drivers in terms of opportunity for these emerging markets….

Light Vehicle Sales

From a global light vehicle sales perspective, this year were looking at about 90 million units of light vehicle sales, he said, noting that sales totaled 88 million units last year.

Although the number of light vehicle sales is expected to top 100 million per year by 2021 and keep growing out to 2023, he said, the rate of growth is expected to peak at close to 3 percent in 2019 before declining during subsequent years to about 2 percent in 2023.

Some of these more developed markets will continue to mature, he said. Emerging markets will help to accumulate more vehicle sales. But at the same time the growth rate will start slowing as we continue in the growth horizon.

IHS Markit forecasts that eight key markets will account for close to 70 percent of light vehicle sales in 2016.

The company projects China will lead with 26 million vehicle sales for 2016, followed by the United States at 17.4 million, Japan with 4.8 million, Germanys 3.6 million, India at 3.4 million, France with 2.4 million, Brazil at 2 million and Russia with 1.4 million.

The U.S. is a market that is peaking. We believe [the] market is peaking yet is going to plateau for a while with decent sales, he said. China on other side, is massive market thats grown a lot but still has a sizeable amount of growth to be had, he said.

Light Vehicle Production

North American Light vehicle production is projected to reach 17.9 million this year, including 12.1 million in the United States, 2.4 million in Canada and 3.4 million in Mexico. The coming years are expected to see more growth in Mexico, while the U.S. remains dominant.

The sheer growth in production in Mexico is one thing that jumps off the page, Wall said. A lot of new plant production is going on and also new plant construction. There are about four or five new plants still coming down the pike for Mexico. The production in Mexico is expected to grow to 4.8 million by 2019, before flattening out by 2023.

Even with that, were not looking for the U.S. to lose out, he said. Light vehicle production in the U.S. is expected to hover around 12 million per year out to 2023.

Part of an industry analysis webinar series by IHS Markit and Auto Care Association, the webinar was titled, Navigating the Waters with Eye on the Horizon: Implications for the Automotive Aftermarket.

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