Record Global Vehicle Sales Reached in 2012

Global vehicle sales broke a record in 2012 with more than 82 million units sold. That figure represents an increase of nearly 34 percent over 2009s economy-challenged global sales of 61.2 million units according to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers or OICA.

sales increase
Global auto production and sales are on the rise.

Production and Sales

Global vehicle production reached 84.1 million units in 2012 as Asia produced 43.7 million vehicles followed by the Americas at 20 million units. Europe came in third at just under 20 million vehicles; Africa and Australasia contributed the remaining amount.

The difference between production figures and sales numbers can be attributed to excess inventory and unrecorded registrations for government vehicles.

Ups and Downs

The sharpest production increase was recorded by the NAFTA nations: Canada, the United States and Mexico, rising by 17 percent. Japan and South Korea followed with an increase of 11 percent followed by China, India and other Asian countries coming in at 6 percent. African production also rose, increasing by 5 percent.

Production south of Mexico for the rest of the Americas fell by 2 percent last year, breaking a string of increases that began in 2003.

Europe saw some stark differences in 2012 with production in the E27 or mostly western European nations plunging by 8 percent. Turkey and Russia, however, helped pace production in the other European countries, with an increase of 4 percent observed.

Looking Ahead

Automotive production and sales are expected to set another record in 2013 with the OICA forecasting a sales rise of 3 percent based on continued strong demand in China and in the United States. Nearly half of all new vehicle sales take place in Asia with China accounting for about one in four new vehicle sales.

Production and sales are expected to continue to fall in Europe as the continent works through its current economic challenges. Emerging markets beyond China such as Russia, India, Brazil and Africa are expected to also see improved sales in 2013.

About the OICA

The OICAs mission is defend the interests of new car manufacturers, assemblers and importers, particularly as relates to their national federation. The organization brings together the various national associations and studies issues that impact the development and future of the global automotive industry. OICA is the global voice of the auto industry, speaking on its behalf to both governmental and nongovernmental entities.

OICA also puts its imprimatur on select auto shows around the world, coordinating the scheduling of the same. In the US, shows in Detroit and Chicago are OICA sanctioned as are shows in Geneva, Seoul, Buenos Aires, Johannesburg and Tokyo.


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Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan has maintained his love for cars ever since his father taught him kicking tires can be one way to uncover a problem with a vehicle’s suspension system. He since moved on to learn a few things about coefficient of drag, G-forces, toe-heel shifting, and how to work the crazy infotainment system in some random weekly driver. Matt is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association and is a contributor to various print and online media sources.

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