European auto sales have seen a sharp decline for the past 16 months, and a 17-year low in sales was recorded in 2012. This is largely due to the financial crisis which resulted in rising taxes, cost-cutting, as well as slowing demand in automotives. This has also forced many European groups to declare job cuts and plant closures. French automakers, in particular, are being hard-hit; with Renault being the latest company to announce 7,500 job cuts (17% of its workforce) in January this year.
On the other hand, China’s automobile industry is thriving. It is emerging as the world’s leading automobile producer, overtaking Japan, the United States and Europe. China is forecasted to produce more cars than Europe for the first time; with 19.6 million cars and light vehicles, compared to Europe’s 18.3 million. This figure is 10 times higher than in 2000, when China’s share of the global industry was a mere 3.5% compared to its likely 23.8% this year.
Can China continue to sustain its dominance in this industry?
Spire Research and Consulting is the leading research consultancy in global emerging markets. Spire's competitive advantage lies in its ability to deliver actionable intelligence on the external business environment in support of its clients’ strategic decision-making in marketing and business development. Spire's clients include 50 Global Fortune 1000 companies and government agencies in 15 countries. For more information, please visit www.spireresearch.com.