Inventive automakers have a bright future
Regardless of the unprecedented sales crisis and generally gloomy forecasts, the automotive industry is facing its biggest growth phase to date, according to the strategy consultancy “Booz & Company”. Rapidly rising per capita incomes in emerging countries and significantly cheaper vehicle types that are more precisely tailored to mobility problems are expected to increase automobile sales there sixfold by 2018.
“The emerging countries are experiencing an enormous increase in purchasing power, which will continue to increase,” says Ron Haddock, automotive expert and partner at Booz & Company. According to company forecasts, millions of families in the so-called “Rapidly Emerging Markets” (REEs) will acquire their first automobile within the next ten years. This includes the classic BRIC countries such as Brazil, Russia, India and China as well as emerging countries such as Malaysia, Mexico and Indonesia. China had already replaced the USA as the leading automotive market last year. In the People’s Republic there are currently 18 cars for every 1,000 households, with the sales quota growing by a further 8.3 percent by 2013. “The BRIC countries are increasingly entering the range of the individual mobility threshold of 10,000 US dollars. This holds immense market potential for automobile manufacturers, ”emphasizes Haddock. The number of vehicles in traffic worldwide will increase from 672 million in 2008 to an estimated 1.1 billion in 2013 and up to 1.5 billion in 2018.
In addition to the new consumers, above all more competition should ensure falling prices and thus increasing sales. “Many manufacturers have recognized that consumer demand is currently changing massively. The future belongs to those players who are already developing cheaper products today, reflecting on local mobility problems and at the same time offering alternatives to gasoline-powered engines, ”explains Haddock. For large cities plagued by smog, electric cars are the solution, while in sugar-cane-rich Brazil, ethanol-powered engines are likely to generate large sales. Although the sales figures are currently falling rapidly due to the recession, corporations that consistently focus on innovation today could expect many millions of new customers tomorrow.