Behind the new record level touched in 2013 by the global car market, many are the aspects to analyze in deep, as trend is almost variegated with many "emerging" markets declining and old and mature markets hitting their all-time record level.
2013 was really strong for the car market globally, ending at 83.5 million vehicles sold, new all-time record, 5.1% or 4 million units better than 2012 and almost one third higher than 2008, the year of great financial crisis.
However markets result have different propellants and the growth hides surprisingly trends. Overall in 2013 two countries reported the highest surprises: India and Japan.
In India, just few months after that the famous consulting firm LMC issued its forecast for 9 million light commercial vehicles sales target in 2020, India market posted a series of declines breaking a growing run after 11 years, with negative perspectives for the 2014 as well.
In Japan, where in 2012 the market had been heavily pushed up (+30.1% from 2011) by government incentives to clean vehicles (Toyota Prius and its MPV derivative "Aqua" leading the sales), the 2013 was expected to a natural drop. Indeed the start of the year was in this direction, but as the government changed and a new expansive economic policy was re-introduced, the market benefit of strong demand and in second half recovered the gap ending just 0.7% below 2012.
In North America, Canada touched the new all-time record sales, while Mexico surged very near to its best (that should be hit in 2014) and USA market was pushed by strong reduction of unemployment, higher than expected GDP and new record level of Stock Exchange index. Fear regarding the huge public debt has been hiding by Mr. Obama new deal approach and 2014 starts with optimistic views for the next three years (with the current as the weaker).
In South America, Brazil fell down, first time in a decade and when a fall was less expected, due to the supposed strong economy trend due to huge public and private investment for FIFA 2014 World's tournament and for 2016 Olympics Games. Argentina, hit a new all-time record, pushed by huge inflation and monetary tensions, and risk to sink one day yes and one day not. Here new markets are growing fast, with Peru, Chile, and Uruguay very fast and stable.
Europe at the end of the day was not so bad, down just marginally, with the losers market (Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Ukraine) that stabilized after the huge drop posted in the previous years and with the continental Europe down marginally and United Kingdom as driver of growing volumes after that Cameron government has won its challenge to cut and expand economy, rather just cut or just expand as others are doing in the old continent. Russia was down although ambitions are for a strong market and government put in place financial supports sustaining car loans.
In Asia, the Thailand fall was loud, as the market 2012 boom was mainly driven by huge cash put in by government to incentive first car buyers. Korea was stable, but just thanks to government tariff reduction, while in the South, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and others smaller countries hit their record.
In Oceania, two markets considered mature like Australia and New Zealand and shocked by announcement of all automotive plants closing in the next 5 years, hit their new all-time record.
Finally, one country is helping Automotive Executives jobs, China, as the largest market worldwide boomed 14% last year, in spite of any fears regarding the huge pollution level touched by all the metropolitan areas and the already strong run treated in last decade.
In the table below, the focus2move exclusive World's Top 50 Car Markets report: