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2013 Passenger Car Market Recap

By Connector Supplier | March 31, 2014

2013 was a pretty good year for the automotive industry, based on sales of passenger cars. Here is Bishop & Associates’ 2013 passenger car market recap and what it means for the connector industry.

2013 was a pretty good year for the automotive industry based on sales of passenger cars (which does not include light trucks). According to the OICA, worldwide sales of passenger cars increased 3.7% over 2012 to 62.6 million cars. Worldwide production of cars also increased 3.7%, from 63.1 million in 2012 to 65.4 million cars in 2013. For 2013, this means the industry built an inventory of 2.8 million cars.

Worldwide production of passenger cars has been growing at an annual compound rate of 4.5% over the last 10 years. Despite the downturn in 2008 and 2009, the five-year compound annual growth rate is 4.4%. For an industry that is dependent on volume, however, the profits were significantly less or non-existent during and following the Great Recession.

Worldwide Passenger Car Production

In contrast, the world’s population has grown at a 1.2% compound annual growth rate for the last 10 years. With car production growing four times faster than the human population, more and more of the world’s population is starting to drive cars each year.

At the end of 2012, there were approximately 833 million passenger cars on the road worldwide, according to the OICA. Worldwide, this equals approximately nine passengers for each car on the road.

China is the largest country/region for production of passenger cars in 2013 and the largest country for production of passenger cars in 2012. Its production has grown 24.5% on a compounded annual rate for the last 10 years. It grew 16.5% from 2012 to 2013.

Worldwide Passenger Car Production

Besides China, North America and ROW were the only regions to show growth in production in 2013 at 1.8% and 5.6%, respectively.

From a sales standpoint, China and North America both grew their passenger car sales in 2013. China’s sales grew 15.7% to 17.9 million units. North America’s sales grew 4.6% to 9.0 million units.

2012-2013 Passenger Car Sales by Region

North America, the world’s largest market for light trucks used as passenger vehicles, sold an additional 2 million pickup trucks in 2013. Year-over-year sales for Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge were up 18.3%, 14.8%, and 21.2%, respectively.

The Market for Connectors in Automotive

Worldwide sales of connectors in total automotive grew 7.5% in 2013 over 2012 to $10.9 billion. Europe was the largest region in 2013 by sales at $3.7 billion in connector usage, up 8.7% over 2012. North America was the second largest region at $3.1 billion, up 12.5% over 2012. 

2012-2013 Connector Sales by Region

By connector sales, Europe is expected to be the largest automotive connector market in 2014 at $3.9 billion in sales, up 5.3% over 2013. North America will grow 8.1% year over year to $3.4 billion in 2014.

2013-2014 Connector Sales by Region

Bishop Observations:

  • Connector usage in automotive is growing faster than the overall market because more electronics are being added to many vehicles, even to the middle-level and compact cars. This trend is expected to continue in 2014 and beyond.
  • The automotive market is expected to continue growing at a healthy pace in 2014, driven by pent-up demand for new cars (the average age of cars on the road today is more than 11 years in the US) and an improving economy.
  • China and Asia Pacific are following the ecological and safety trends in Europe and North America. Connector usage per vehicle is expected to continue to grow.

Bishop & Associates projects the worldwide market for automotive connectors to grow 8.8% in 2014 to $11.9 billion.


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