The Financial Times reports that China, for the first time, is set to produce more cars than Europe in 2013 as Chinese auto production reaches 10 times its 2000 level. Forecasts prepared for the FT show that China will make roughly 19.6 million cars and other light vehicles compared to 18.3 million in Europe. In 2012, Europe manufactured 18.9 million and China made 17.8 million. Projections show global car production volumes growing by 2.2% this year, compared to 4.9% in 2012.
Other data on the European auto industry’s sobering state:
- In 2013, Europe will produce a little more than one-fifth of the world’s cars, down from 35% in 2001, says the FT. (In 1970, nearly one in two cars in the world came from a European factory).
- China’s global share of the auto manufacturing market will balloon to 23.8% in 2013, up from 3.5% in 2000.
- Europe’s key car makers including France’s Peugeot, Germany’s Opel, and Italy’s Fiat are restructuring partly by cutting thousands of jobs
- The European Automobile Manufacturers Association in December said that demand for new cars in the EU was down for the 14th month in a row