Global automotive industry expected to hold up in 2012

April 25, 2012

April 25, 2012

After a continuing resurgence in worldwide vehicle production in 2011 with 3% growth to reach a new record of 80.1 million vehicles (all types), 2012 is expected to be another positive year with the International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) predicting a further 3% annual growth.

First indicators showed that global light vehicle production increased by an estimated 4% in the 1st quarter of 2012 to 20.4 million units but with mixed results in different regions. Japan, NAFTA, India and South Korea all put in strong growth; however, Europe, South America, and even China reported losses.

North American (NAFTA) light vehicle production surged by 17.3% year-on-year in the first quarter to March 2012 to reach 3.947 million units with the biggest increase coming in the USA where light vehicle production increased by 21.4% to 2.603 million units. Mexico fared better than Canada with a growth of 11.6% in light vehicle production to 709,573 units, with Canada reporting growth of 8.7% to reach 634,123 units.


Summary of vehicle production in North America – January to March 2012

(Courtesy Wards Auto) 


Japan is reported to have made strong gains in the first quarter with over 25% increase in vehicle production, and South Korea the world’s fifth largest car producer, also reported continuing growth with an 8.7% increase year-on-year to 1.175 million units in the three months to March 2012.

The slowdown experienced by the Chinese automotive industry in 2011 has continued into 2012 and the China Automobile Manufacturers Association (CAAM) reported a 1.8% drop in car production to 4.78 million units in the first quarter of the year, and a 3.4% drop in vehicle sales to 4.79 million in the same period. China remains the world’s largest vehicle producer with 18.4 million vehicles produced in 2011.

In Europe the automotive market shrank by 7.7% in the 1st quarter of 2012 with a total of 3.313 million new registrations. There were starkly contrasting performances across the European Union in the quarter with Germany (+1.3%) and United Kingdom (+0.9%) expanding slightly whilst Spain dropped by 1.9% and Italy and France faced much sharper downturns at -21% and -21.6% respectively.

Most of the new EU member countries from Eastern Europe reported positive growth in vehicle sales. Germany remains the key EU country both for vehicle production and sales. The German Association of Automobile Industry (VDA) reported that passenger car production decreased by 0.4% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2012 to 1.495 million units, whilst sales held up in the quarter increasing by 1.4% to 773,713 units.


New passenger car registrations in the EU in the last 12 months

(Courtesy: ACEA)


News | Articles | Market reviews | Search directory | Subscribe to e-newsletter

April 25, 2012

In the latest issue of PM Review…

Download PDF

Extensive Powder Metallurgy industry news coverage, and the following exclusive deep-dive articles and reports:

  • Phoenix Sintered Metals: A story of transformation, growth and community from America’s PM heartland
  • World PM2024 Yokohama: The stage is set for the PM industry to find a path to sustainable growth
  • The state of Europe’s hard magnets industry and the challenge of optimising the mass production of Nd2Fe14B permanent magnets

The latest news from the world of metal powders, delivered to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of PM Review, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Join our community

Discover our magazine archive…

The free-to-access PM Review magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of Powder Metallurgy from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading PM part manufacturers, metal powder manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.


Browse the archive


Looking for PM production equipment, metal powders, R&D support and more?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our
advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of PM Review magazine.

  • Powders & materials
  • Powder process, classification & analysis
  • PM products
  • Atomisers & powder production technology
  • Compaction presses, tooling & ancillaries
  • Sintering equipment & ancillaries
  • Post-processing
  • Consulting & toll sintering
View online
Share via
Copy link