Worldwide auto sales seen to hit 88.6 million this year

Article by Christian A., on February 6, 2015

Global auto sales could head for another growth year in 2015, as IHS Automotive expects carmakers to sell 2.4 percent more vehicles to 88.6 million units. According to IHS Automotive, the surge will be by the United States and China, while South America and Europe in flux.

George Magliano, senior principal economist at IHS Automotive, told Automotive News in an interview that the global market continues to “move to new highs, but it’s very spotty.”

He noted that while the US and China are improving, “most of the rest of the world is struggling.” Magliano noted that the once mighty western European market now is only starting to “come around very slowly.” IHS remarked that North America’s overall economic growth and improving credit conditions will still power global light-vehicle demand in 2015.

The forecaster expects light-vehicle sales volume in North America to top 20 million units in 2015 for a 2.5-percent jump. It is expecting vehicle sales of 16.9 million units in the US this year, up from 16.5 million in 2014. IHS noted that consumers feel more positive this year thanks to a strong 2014 exit and dropping gasoline prices.

According to Magliano, light-vehicle sales in the US will surge over the next few years -- 17.2 million in 2016 and 17.5 million in 2017. There will be a slight jump in light vehicle sales in Canada, as IHS expects the volume to leap from 1.85 million in 2014 to 1.88 million this year.

Mexico, meanwhile, is expected to see a sales gain of 3 percent to 1.17 million vehicles. In China, light-vehicle sales are seen to climb 7 percent in 2015, which means total sales of 25.2 million vehicles for the year, according to IHS.

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