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AUTO NEWS – ‘The world might by no means see 100 million new automotive gross sales in a 12 months’

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‘The world might by no means see 100 million new automotive gross sales in a 12 months’


Sorry, I acquired it fallacious. A few years again I slipped into forecasting mode (just like and nearly as harmful as betting on the horses), and predicted customers of the world would by now be shopping for or leasing at the least 100 million new vehicles a 12 months. 

Reality is, this hasn’t occurred. The relentless development in automotive gross sales we’ve witnessed over current a long time has, for now at the least, stalled. Solely round 86 million non-public people and companies signed up for fresh-from-the-factory autos final 12 months.

• New automotive gross sales 2019

That’s fewer than in 2017, and 2019 is predicted to be one other flat 12 months. So far as automotive gross sales within the 2010s are involved, they’ve peaked. At greatest, we’ll have to attend till the roaring ’20s earlier than that psychologically necessary 100m-per-annum barrier is breached.

In a single sense, 86 million automotive gross sales a 12 months is spectacular. However we have to remind ourselves that this determine is surprisingly low in view of the actual fact there at the moment are lots of of tens of millions – presumably billions – of in-work or comfortably retired customers throughout the globe with incomes giant sufficient to position them in new-car territory.

In China, India and Brazil, for instance, salt-of-the-earth working-class people have wealth like by no means earlier than. However they’re simply not signing up for brand new vehicles within the numbers I, for one, anticipated them to.

Perhaps they’re holding again as a consequence of monetary uncertainties on a nationwide, worldwide or, extra seemingly, private degree. Or maybe a scarcity of shopper confidence and/or long-term
job safety fears prevents them from buying the keys to new vehicles. Maybe they’re merely choosing used autos as a substitute, deeming factory-fresh fashions too costly.

One other issue is the politicians at house and overseas, with their conflict on diesel and the fines or bans they slap on motorists who dare to drive private autos in metropolis centres.

It’s additionally turning into more and more tough and costly to qualify as a driver with a full licence then purchase correct, eye-wateringly costly insurance coverage cowl. Some may ask why they need to trouble studying to drive in any respect when autonomous vehicles will quickly do all of the driving for them – earlier than including that whereas they’re ready for the driverless revolution to reach, they’ll all the time use present automotive sharing, ride-hailing and different providers.

Being transported door-to-door in vehicles by ‘skilled’ drivers charging affordable fares has by no means been extra handy. And the method will, in idea, get cheaper and simpler when autonomous tech takes over and driver wages are faraway from the equation.

In crude phrases, as we speak’s ‘norm’ is that one non-public automotive is bought and pushed by one non-public automotive proprietor every day. However the ‘new norm’ might be one public automotive, with no driver, carrying, say, 100 of us over the identical interval. That, in flip, will translate right into a single sale for the worldwide motor business, not the 100 gross sales it might have beforehand loved. 

No marvel producers are at the moment struggling to promote 100 million vehicles a 12 months, by no means thoughts the lots of of tens of millions they might – and maybe ought to – be promoting in a world that includes almost eight billion folks.

Loved studying this? Then yow will discover extra of Mike’s columns right here…

AUTO NEWS – ‘The world might by no means see 100 million new automotive gross sales in a 12 months’
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