The inexorable rise of China as a significant automotive manufacturer and market, was one of the trends highlighted by Prof Dr Werner Neubauer, board member of Volkswagen AG, in his opening presentation for the FSK meeting.
Noting VW’s stated intention to become the world’s No 1 carmaker and overtake General Motors by 2018, Neubauer ran through VW’s view of the world market, and its approach region by region to achieving this aim.
One forthcoming challenge will be that, as car production in India and China surges, their exports will start to encroach on the EU markets, the VW executive warned.
Discussing CO2 emissions limits, Neubauer concluded that the EU does not yet have a solution with e-cars: there are “still problems to be solved.”
Neubauer noted that the world vehicle market has gone in a decade to Asia now leading with a third of the market (from a quarter), with North America’s share dropping to a quarter (from a third), while Europe’s share dropped to a fifth (from a quarter).
Neubauer also highlighted a trend in Germany: private ownership is a diminishing share of the car market, as leasing, rentals and fleet ownership rises.
Another revelation at this meeting was that for young people, “having a car is no longer top of the wishlist.”
Neubauer listed global problems that need addressing: China’s housing bubble; Europe’s budget deficit countries and bank debt issues; rebuilding Japan after the tsunami and earthquake; and…