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An investor's key guide to the global automobile industry

Part 3
An investor's key guide to the global automobile industry (Part 3 of 9)

Recommendation: Break down automobile sales by geography

Global automotive industry sales by region

The global automobile industry is estimated to have sold 76.3 million units in 2013 .

  • Asia Pacific: 36.3 million units sold in 2013—China: 22.0 million, and Japan: 5.4 million
  • North America: 18.3 million units sold in 2013 —U.S.: 15.5 million and 1.7 million
  • Europe: 15.8 million units—Germany: 3.0 million, Russia: 2.8 million, UK: 2.3 million, and France: 2.8 million
  • Latin America: 5.3 million units—Brazil: 3.6 million units
  • Africa and the Middle East: 0.6 million units

Auto market GEOGRAPHIC PIE CHARTEnlarge Graph

Looking over the past five years, some startling changes have taken place in the industry. Developing markets grew significantly, and developed markets had flat-to-negative growth. For example, China grew from a 9.4 million units a year in 2008 to 22.0 million units per year in 2013. Similarly, India, Indonesia, and Thailand doubled their market to an aggregate 4.0 million units a year. All this growth increased Asia’s share of the global market from 35% in 2008 to 45% in 2013. Growth is continuing in these markets.

Geographic Market Change over past 5 yearsEnlarge Graph

Conversely, Europe’s 15.7 million market in 2013 was down 2% from 2008. As a percentage of global market share, Europe declined from 29% of the global market to 20% of the global market in 2013. North America declined from 28% of the global market to 21%. Latin America remained steady, driven by growth in Brazil. The strongest growth remains in Asia Pacific, North America, and Latin America. These are the areas where Ford (F), General Motors (GM), Volkwagen AG (VOW), and Toyota (TM) are investing.

An investor could take advantage of the industry growth, regardless of region, by purchasing CARZ, and automobile industry ETF that holds shares in the leading automobile manufacturers globally.

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