By on February 15, 2011

While we were focused on the U.S. market in 2010 and were happy that it awoke from the dead and went above 10 million, the world quietly left carmageddon behind itself and set a new record: 72 million light-vehicles were sold worldwide in 2010, a number never seen before, says J.D. Power. For this year, the Westlake Village research group expects another world record. However, most of this record was not and will not be produced where most of our readership lives.

J.D. Power projects global new light-vehicle sales to reach record setting 76.5 million units in 2011. This would be 6 percent higher than the 2010 total. The previous record of 70 million units was established in 2007.

For the first time, emerging auto markets buy more cars than the established markets. Emerging markets accounted for 51 percent of the global light-vehicle sales in 2010, a dramatic shift that is expected to continue and to accelerate.

J.D.Power is the only research institute that reliably tracks the worldwide equivalents of the U.S. light-vehicle count. This is not an easy chore. Let’s have a look at their data. I would bookmark this page.

2010 Light-Vehicle Sales Recap

  • U.S.: 11.6 million light vehicles sold in 2010, up 11 percent
  • Canada: 1.6 million light vehicles sold in 2010, up 7 percent
  • Europe: 18.2 million light vehicles sold in 2010, down 4 percent
  • China: 17.2 light vehicles sold in 2010, up 30 percent

Kudos to J.D. Power for being first to supply us with numbers for the world, especially for China that are comparable with the U.S. light-vehicle count. Shame on Associated Press for perpetrating crime with numbers.

Again, TTAC’s position is that in absence of hard light-vehicle data, the total of all automobiles should be taken. The 18.06 million total of all vehicles sold in China is much closer to the 17.2 million light-vehicle count, which is light-years apart from the 13.8 million “passenger vehicles” flogged by the AP and interested media outlets.

2011 Light-Vehicle Sales Outlook

  • Emerging markets expand their 51 percent share of total light-vehicle sales to 53 percent.
  • U.S. will see higher sales. Forecast: 13 million units, up 12 percent
  • Western Europe light-vehicle sales expected to be flat. Forecast: 14.2 million units, down 2 percent.
  • Eastern Europe light-vehicle sales expected to uptick. Forecast: 3.9 million units, up 4 percent.
  • Chinese light-vehicle sales expected to continue their growth at a slower pace. Forecast: More than 19 million units, up 11percent.
  • Japanese light-vehicle sales expected to shrink 9 percent to 4.4 million.
  • India is expected to see light-vehicle sales grow by 17 percent to  3.2 million units.
  • Brazil’s light-vehicle sales are forecast to rise by 8 percent to 3.7 million.
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