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        The world in figures: Industries Automotive

        Published:2014-07-08 13:16:04

        Source:Wo Tewei

        The world in figures: Industries
        Automotive
        Nov 18th 2013 |From The World In 2014 print edition
        http://cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/full-width/images/articles/20140110_idp001_l.jpg
        \Global car sales are in stop-start mode, with western Europe the main drag on momentum. In 2014, after four years of backsliding, carmakers in the region will sell a few more vehicles than they did the year before. But this is only a blip on the path of long-term decline: overcapacity is roughly 20%, so firms must brace for more factory closures. At least Europeans are still leaders in other things automotive: on September 1st stringent new emission rules will come into force, and where Europe’s bureaucrats lead, others often follow.
        Despite Europe’s minimal progress, global passenger-car registrations will grow by 6%. Roughly 100m cars in America have been in use long enough to make them ripe for replacement, according to Bloomberg Industries, an information provider. American consumers who have put off buying a new set of wheels will open their wallets: registrations will rise by 9%. Though Asian car demand is moving down a gear, China, the only market bigger than America, will nonetheless grow by 5%. Other racy emerging markets will include South Africa, Colombia, Indonesia and India.
        India will be the world’s top small-car market—hence Nissan’s decision to resurrect its Datsun brand there in early 2014. Reviving low-budget hatchbacks is part of its plan to win over emerging-market consumers. Models will be sold for less than 400,000 rupees ($6,000).
        To watch: Driving innovation. Mass-produced cars have incorporated basic self-driving features for years, but some 2014 models from Mercedes-Benz will have a claim to be the most autonomous yet. Equipped with sensors and other gadgetry that allow drivers to take their hands off the wheel at low speeds, the first batch is due in showrooms before the end of 2013, for a mere $100,000. In 2014 Volvo will bring out its XC90 sports-utility vehicle, which can park itself after its “driver” has alighted and return at his command.
        From The World In 2014 print edition
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