China leads the way in light vehicle sales during 2010

February 2, 2011

February 2, 2011

The PM industry, whether it be structural PM parts, carbide tools, sintered magnets, or self lubricating bearings, is heavily reliant on the automotive sector. With around 80% of all structural PM parts used in vehicle production it is clear that the state of the automotive industry significantly affects the fortunes of the PM industry.


 Global light vehicle sales (As published 11 January 2011, courtesy

J. D. Power and Associates Automotive Forcasting)

Government funded scrappage schemes and other consumer incentives have helped the automotive sector in its recovery from the devastating economic downturn of 2009. Though many of these schemes ended in early 2010, recently released figures show that the majority of regions continued to see growth in light vehicle sales, ending the year up on 2009 figures.

Unsurprisingly, the largest growth was again seen in China, where sales of new light vehicles increased almost 33% in 2010 to 17.2 million units. In contrast Europe remained virtually level with 2009 figures.

North & South America sees growth in sales

North and South America experienced growth in 2010, with the USA reporting light vehicle sales of 11.6 million, up 11.1% on 2009 figures. Canadian sales rose to 1.5 million units, up 6.6%. Brazil and Argentina saw sales increase to just over 4 million light vehicles, up 15.2%, while Mexico witnessed 8.4% growth to nearly 815,000 sales.

Europe remains level during 2010

An increase of 17.2% in Eastern European sales was overshadowed by a 3.9% dip in Western Europe. Sales for the region as a whole, however, remained virtually level with 2009 figures at 18.3 million light vehicles. Germany accounted for the largest fall in sales over the year with a 23% drop to 2.9 million, from 3.8 million units in 2009. France and Italy also experienced a drop in sales, however the UK showed a small increase of 1.8%, with just over 2 million recorded light vehicles sales. 

China leading the way in Asia

Boosted by China’s continued growth, Asia remains the largest market for light vehicle sales. Japan and Korea witnessed modest growth with sales increasing by 7.5% and 6.4% respectively. As previously mentioned, sales in China continued to grow in 2010, though not at the same impressive rate as for 2009 which saw a 48% increase. Despite this ‘slowdown’ in light vehicle sales, the market in China has virtually doubled in two years and more than tripled in five years.

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February 2, 2011

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