Worldwide new vehicle sales in 2012 are expected to rise 6.7 percent over 2011 volumes to 77.7 million vehicles, according to Polk, a leading global automotive market intelligence firm. China is expected to have a 16 percent increase in new car sales over 2011. If the Polk forecasts are correct the world is on track to have 100 million new car sold in 2017. China will be passing Europe for new cars in 2015, 2016 or 2017. China would have about 23 to 24 million cars sold in 2016. Polk analysts anticipate much of this growth to occur outside of the large metropolitan cities of Shanghai and Beijing.
The U.S. market will experience single digit growth, primarily due to the relatively strong year for sales in 2011, and the effects of the weak economy that will continue to impact new vehicle demand through most of 2012. Light vehicle sales are expected to grow at a moderate pace, with a 7.3 percent increase in the region this year, to 13.7 million vehicles, according to Polk analysts, but they do not expect the U.S. market to achieve pre-recession levels of greater than 16 million vehicles per year until 2015.
The luxury segment in the U.S. market in 2012 is expected to be the fastest growing segment, with more than 14 percent growth