Global sales for cars and light trucks will increase 6.7 percent this year to 77.7 million vehicles, thanks to the 16 percent gain in Chinese demand to 17.9 million outside the population centers of Beijing and Shanghai, disclosed R.L. Polk & Co., a research company based near Detroit. Sales in China remained unchanged at 15.5 million last year, Polk estimated, after purchase incentives were phased out by the government. Anthony Pratt, Polk's director of forecasting for the Americas, revealed that growth in China will bounce back this year. He explained that the growth in China will be "more a function of natural demand" rather than stimulus. He added that the expansion in the second-tier and third-tier cities is "a trend" which will continue to grow.
In Europe, sales will be unchanged at around 19 million units, as stringent measures and sovereign-debt concerns hindered governments from offering scrappage incentives and other programs for purchasers, Polk stated. Sales in Europe were around 19.2 million last year. In 2010, 18.5 million units were sold, Polk estimated.
In the United States, sales of cars and light trucks will increase 7.3 percent to 13.7 million, Polk disclosed. The nation will not outperform its pre-recession sales level of 16 million units until 2015, the research company revealed. Luxury vehicles will still be the fastest-growing segment of the US market, with at least 14 percent growth, according to the forecast. Sales peaked 12.7 million in 2011, as estimated by Polk, after totaling 11.5 million in 2010.