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Study: Emerging Nations About to Overtake North America in Auto Production

04/01/2008
Automobile production in the "BRICs" - Brazil, Russia, India, and China - will surpass that of North America, traditionally the world's largest car market, sometime this year, according to a study conducted by Canadian Scotiabank. It is the first time that North America will fall behind in auto manufacturing. The study reports that the combined vehicle assembly capacity in Brazil, Russia, China, and India will reach 20 million units in 2008, surpassing the 17.4 million units in the United States and Canada. The study authors attribute the North American falloff to plant closures by the traditional American auto companies, with the gain in the emerging countries resulting from a 15 percent-per-year rise in assembly capacity over the past five years. Nearly 90 percent of all new capacity put in place during that period has been outside the mature markets of North America, Japan, and Western Europe. North American capacity peaked at 19.6 million units in 2002 and has fallen by approximately 2 million units since.

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