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Asian tiger is on the prowl

Tapping in: Holden's Caprice is sold in China as the Buick Park Avenue.

China and India are driving an unprecedented demand for cars in South East Asia

31 Aug 2007

THE booming economies of China and India will enable the Asia-Pacific region to outsell Europe – the world’s largest automotive market by continent – by 2009, according to a study released by JD Power and Associates last week.

By that time, annual new-vehicle sales throughout Asia-Pacific are expected to reach 23 million, compared with a forecast 22.7 million in Europe.

By the end of this year, vehicle sales in the Asia-Pacific region are projected to reach 19.3 million units – 28.1 per cent of global demand.

In comparison, Europe is expected to grow by three per cent to reach 21.6 million units, while sales in North America sales are expected to decrease by 0.04 per cent to 19.2 million units.

Unsurprisingly, China in particular is the key driver in Asia’s growth. JD Power predicts sales will increase 18 per cent in China this year, reaching 16.3 million units between 2007 and 2014 and therefore maintaining its position the second-largest market in the world behind the US.

At the current rate of growth, JD Power expects China will surpass the US as the world’s biggest market by 2025.

Australia’s share in Asia-Pacific new-vehicle sales is expected to be five per cent by the end of 2007, behind China (41%), Japan (28%), India (9%) and South Korea (6%). According to JD Power, in 2014 the balance will have moved further toward China, which should account for 50 per cent of the region’s sales compared to 19 per cent for Japan, 10 per cent for India, five per cent for South Korea and four per cent for Australia.

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