Some argue that conditions in China are actually more favorable for quick adoption of driverless cars, in part because of more aggressive support from the national and local governments. And, unlike in the United States, China never fully developed a romance with the open road and car ownership.
As 2015 came to a close, the results show that the European market has performed above expectations, according to Carlos Da Silva, manager for IHS Automotive's European light-vehicle sales forecast. The main reasons for this dynamism include economic improvement, better macro conditions, and a natural catch-up process after the longest sales downturn Europe has ever suffered. In addition, there has been a fair share of artificial support from government stimulus packages, OEM incentives and the use of tactical sales.
Last year was a good one in the mature car markets, though it was largely offset by a very poor showing for many of the world’s emerging markets. The net result is estimated to be a sub-par 1.5 percent growth in global auto sales – the slowest pace of growth since 2010 – once all numbers are reported and analyzed. However, sales forecasts from IHS Automotive -- part of IHS Inc. and a source of critical information and insight to the global automotive industry -- the outlook for 2016 is likely to be defined by smaller gains, but also less pain than 2015.
In the race to put autonomous vehicles on read roads, technology companies may overtake automakers. According to a report from IHS Automotive, companies like Google and others are currently working toward solutions in the autonomous vehicle space and Google is in the lead. IHS Automotive estimates the technology company has invested nearly $60m so far in autonomous vehicle research and development, at a run rate of nearly $30m per year.
The use of plastics in the production of light vehicles is continuing to grow, with more than $18.1bn worth of finished automotive plastic products incorporated into vehicles assembled in the U.S. and Canada last year, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said.