The car industry is slowly getting healthy again (except in Europe.) Worldwide sales are up 6.8 percent so far, and it looks like 81 million units could be sold worldwide this year, as data by LMC Automotive show. This has the Worldwatch Institute up in arms. Basically, it wants us to buy fewer cars and drive them less.
|Woldwide Light Vehicle Sales, August 2012|
|Aug’12||Aug’11||YoY||YTD 2012||YTD 2011||YoY|
|BRAZIL / ARGENTINA||414,959||385,895||7.5%||2,814,658||2,850,770||-1.3%|
|Source: LMC Automotive|
Says Worldwatch Senior Researcher Michael Renner:
“Automobiles are major contributors to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Greater fuel efficiency, along with the use of cleaner fuels, can help mitigate these impacts, although increases in the numbers of cars and the distances driven threaten to overwhelm fuel economy advances.”
Worldwatch singles out China as “the major driver of increased production and sales.” China had the nerve to grow its passenger vehicle fleet “at an annual average rate of 25 percent during 2000-11, from fewer than 10 million cars to 73 million cars,” says Worldwatch.
What the study does not mention: In the U.S., there are 240 million light vehicles on the road. That is one car or light truck per 1.3 people.
Using the Worldwatch number of 73 million cars in China, there would only be one car for 18 Chinese.
Cause to be alarmed even more: The official number is 114 million automobiles on China’s streets, one automobile for 11 Chinese.
Wait until Chinese car ownership reaches the standards of the developed world, that is one car for two people. Chinese car ownership would rise to 673 million cars, or about the same of what we now have on the road in the whole world.