Analysts: Peak Car To Arrive By 2020s

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
analysts peak car to arrive by 2020s

After a century of motoring, and with several factors rapidly changing the landscape, analysts are forecasting the peak of global automotive growth to come sometime in the 2020s.

The Detroit News reports that as more people join the exodus out of suburbia into major cities, along with other factors such as pollution, gridlock, build quality and the adoption of alternative modes of transportation — particularly among younger generations who cannot afford a car of their own — auto sales around the globe will peak somewhere around 100 million in the next decade, according to several analysts such as IHS Automotive.

Further, 44 percent of Americans surveyed by Intel said they would prefer to live in big cities with driverless cars able to keep traffic flowing smoothly, while one out of 10 households have no car at all.

The coming upheaval is prompting automakers to consider their place in the new scene, where red barchetta owners outrun silver bubble cars, and where car ownership gives way to car sharing. Tim Ryan, vice chairman of markets and strategy for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, puts the future of motoring into perspective:

The key question is: Do you sell cars or do you sell mobility? If you ignore these megatrends, you run the risk of becoming irrelevant.

With an expected 25 percent to 50 percent increase urban dwelling over the next decade, and 9 billion expected to live in urban areas 25 years from now, the groundwork is being prepared to meet this coming challenge. Gartner Inc. auto analyst Thilo Koslowski predicts urbanites to use ride- and car-sharing services such as Lyft and Car2Go to commute to their destination, with autonomous cars picking up their passengers, and using GPS and other communication technologies to deliver them safely.

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  • Jimbob457 Jimbob457 on Feb 27, 2014

    You gotta keep a firm grasp on the obvious. All this requires is a little data and analytical competency in long division. How many people live in the USA and Canada? How many motor vehicles are currently in service there? How many people live in Western Europe? How many motor vehicles are currently in service there? How many people live in China? How many motor vehicles are currently in service there? How many people live in India? How many motor vehicles are currently in service there? How many people live in Africa? How many motor vehicles are currently in service there? Motor vehicle production may or may not be in the process of peaking in USA, Canada and Western Europe. It is certainly a mature industry in these areas. That said, anyone who seriously expects a global production peak in the 2020's is a bit deficient in the gray matter department.

  • Sportyaccordy Sportyaccordy on Feb 27, 2014

    I think this makes sense and is a good thing. Most people's commutes are bumper to bumper traffic... i.e. the least enjoyable type of driving out there. Commuting could be handled by adaptive public transportation pushing deeper into the suburbs. Longer but boring trips could be handled by more luxurious cars than folks might want to buy and own. And manufacturers could focus on enthusiast entries for folks who want to do their own driving. Not to mention it would get drunk, distracted and old drivers off the road, making things that much safer without forcing anything on anyone else. It's all good to me and totally realistic.