By Cyriac Thomas
The automotive industry is the industry involved in the design, development, manufacture, marketing, and sale of motor vehicles. In 2007, more than million motor vehicles, including cars and commercial vehicles were produced worldwide.
In 2007, a total of 71.9 million new automobiles were sold worldwide: 22.9 million in Europe, 21.4 million in Asia-Pacific, 19.4 million in USA and Canada, 4.4 million in Latin America, 2.4 million in the Middle East and 1.4 million in Africa. The markets in North America and Japan were stagnant, while those in South America and Asia grew strongly. Of the major markets, Russia, Brazil and China saw the most rapid growth.
In 2008, with rapidly rising oil prices, industries such as the automotive industry, are experiencing a combination of pricing pressures from raw material costs and changes in consumer buying habits. The industry is also facing increasing external competition from the public transport sector, as consumers re-evaluate their private vehicle usage.
The United States is the world’s largest consumer market for light vehicles, passenger cars and light trucks. The United States auto industry is dominated by the Big Three or General Motors, Ford Motors and Daimler/Chrysler. These three account for roughly a little over half of the production of cars and light trucks in the industry. What has currently started to happen in the recent years is that the Big Three are starting to lose market share to other rivals within the industry. In 2006 the Big Three accounted for 41.5% of light vehicle sales when compared to the top three foreign companies which accounted for 36.6% (Toyota, Honda, & Nissan). Overall the Big Three account for 54.9% of the U.S. market in 2006. This was down from 58.2% in 2005, 60.1% 2004 and 61.8% in 2003. This trend is expected to continue but to taper off in the... [continues]
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