Automotive markets

As a result of the rather subdued economic outlook, growth in global demand for cars of approximately 4% is expected in 2015.

We once again expect China to deliver the biggest contribution by far to the expansion of global car sales. Substantial growth seems possible yet again for the world’s biggest car market. The US market should also continue its solid development. Although sales figures are meanwhile back to the pre-crisis level and thus close to market saturation, slight growth is expected once again in 2015. With sales of more than 16.7 million units, more cars and light trucks should be sold than since the year 2005.

A continued demand upturn is to be anticipated for Western Europe. Due to the continuation of weak economic expansion, however, only slight growth in demand for cars is expected, although the market is currently at a relatively low level. The growth rates forecast for the individual markets are more uniform than in 2014, although the countries have significantly different starting situations. The market of the United Kingdom should expand again slightly from its already high level, while little growth is to be expected in France despite the relatively weak level of car sales in the previous year. The German car market is also likely to expand at a comparatively low rate to a volume of just over 3 million units.

The Japanese car market has been at an artificially high level for several years due to various special effects. This is expected to be corrected in 2015 with a moderate decrease in demand.

The major emerging markets are likely to show varying developments in 2015. A significant recovery of demand for cars is anticipated in India. In Russia, however, a further significant drop in sales of cars must be assumed due to the worsening economic crisis there.

The world market for medium-and heavy-duty trucks is likely to expand slightly in 2015 after the significant demand downturn in the previous year. However, market developments will remain disparate at the regional level.

The NAFTA region once again promises to deliver the most positive development. Most economic indicators suggest that demand for trucks will remain strong there with expected market growth in the magnitude of 10%. On the other hand, prospects for the European market are significantly less favorable due to the continuation of only hesitant economic recovery. From today’s perspective, demand is expected to remain only in the region of the relatively weak prior-year level.

Market conditions in Brazil are likely to remain difficult: Starting from a low level, market volume is expected to decrease again by roughly 10%. The Japanese market for light-, medium-and heavy-duty trucks has shown strong growth in recent years. But due to the economic slowdown, a slight market contraction must be anticipated in 2015. In Indonesia, however, market recovery and growth in a magnitude of 10% are to be expected.

The severe recession in Russia will continue to depress the market, so demand should fall sharply once again. In India, however, a significant market recovery is expected due to slightly improved economic prospects. The market outlook for China is connected with uncertainty. The introduction of the CN4 emission standards (similar to Euro IV) on January 1, 2015 is likely to depress demand. We currently anticipate a market volume in 2015 of slightly below the previous year.

Overall, we expect a stable demand for vans in Europe in 2015. That applies to medium-sized and large vehicles as well as to small vans. For the United States, we expect moderate growth in the market for large vans. In Latin America, we assume that the market for large vans will stabilize following the significant contraction in 2014. In China, we anticipate an ongoing revival of demand in the market we address there.

We expect a slightly larger market volume for buses in Western Europe in 2015 than in 2014. Demand for buses in Brazil is likely to remain flat in 2015 following the significant decrease in 2014.

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