Europe is set to defeat the U.S. for the title of world’s largest auto market. With declining sales in the U.S. and a growth in Europe, the Americans’ taste for cars will soon be superseded by their European allies.
In Australia, 2007 will mark the first year on record when the auto market has managed one million new-car sales. In Europe and the U.S. 2007 will mark the first year each segment has managed to climb past sixteen million sales.
The first ten months of this year have the U.S. leading by just 10,980 units, with the overall figures showing:
What this massive European surge demonstrates is a strong sales growth in the UK, Italy and in central/eastern Europe. What is also shows is a declining U.S. market, due to low consumer confidence resulting from the recent credit crisis and rising fuel costs.
The U.S. market has also shown some expected trends this year. Toyota has been the sales leader in May, June, July and November. Something which has never happened before. Ford, which has been the top selling-brand in 19 of the past 20 years, appears defeated in third place.
The light-truck segment – the backbone of U.S. manufacturers – has plummeted in November, down 6.8 percent including crossovers and off a whopping 15.5 percent if you count crossovers as cars.