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Breakthroughs that will shape the future of the car industry

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Global Motor Vehicle

The car industry produces vehicles and related products, such as car parts, and equally encompasses activities involving glass, steel, textiles, rubber and computer chips, among others. It also includes a research and development budget of nearly $85 billion, dedicated to improving vehicle safety and protecting the environment through the discovery and development of petroleum substitutes including hydrogen fuel cells, electricity, clean diesel, natural gas and sustainable biofuels.

Motor vehicle industry reports clearly show that the global automotive manufacturing sector is expected to grow at a yearly rate of almost 4.5% in the five-year period ending 2015, when it will hit almost $905 billion according to MarketLine.

Between 1995 and 2005, the automotive industry expanded over 30%, making it an important component of economic growth says the Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers. The industry employs 9 million people, representing 5% of manufacturing jobs throughout the world and another 50 million indirectly. Automotive manufacturing represents combined gains in excess of $430 billion spanning 26 nations.

Market Outlook

Competition in the automotive industry is strong, with 80% of cars manufactured by the top 10 companies, making the industry a highly concentrated one. Technological innovation is key for the industry as environmental concerns force governments to enforce alternative transportation and production options to cut emissions proven detrimental to the planet’s future. Therefore, alternatives to more pollution-heavy traditional petroleum, such as electric vehicles, are to take an ever-increasing share of the market. The manufacture of plug-in and hybrid cars is forecast to reach almost 3 million units by 2017, according to Pike Research (now Navigant Research), while electric vehicle manufacturing is forecast to see 30% yearly growth between 2010 and 2014 reports Technavio.

There is also heavy competition in the manufacturing of heavy trucks and buses, light vehicles (such as trucks), vans and other kinds of commercial vehicles.

Leading Regional Markets

About 40% of the global automotive industry is represented by the production and sale of vehicles in the US, reports Global Automakers. There are 300 facilities in operation across the US, with combined yearly salaries from the sector adding up to close to $6 billion. Major automotive manufacturers in operation in the US include the Chrysler Group, General Motors and Ford.

The EU segment of the automotive industry represents around 2.3 million jobs, with more than 10 million employed indirectly in related industries, reports the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. Over 17 million vehicles are manufactured yearly in the EU, or 25% of worldwide production, throughout almost 170 facilities. Leading automotive companies in operation in the EU include Volvo, Renault and Fiat.

Japan’s market share in the global automotive industry is expected to be over 33% by end of 2011. Japanese compact car manufacturing is at 45% of global production, and 48% in the mid-size car market segment. Two of the country’s leading manufacturers, Honda and Toyota, saw profits fall a combined $8 billion following the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011. Leading companies include Yamaha, Mazda, Toyota, Honda, Suzuki and Isuzu.

2010 Car Production Statistics - Top 10 Countries

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Parent industry: Automotive
Related markets: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Travel, Freight, Public Transport, Natural Gas, Truck, Bus, Light Commercial Vehicle, Heavy Truck, Autonomous Vehicle, Recreational Vehicle, Medium Truck

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