WJR: Global Sales Predictions

These days, it's easy to take a gloom-and-doom view of the auto industry, but there are some positive trends to stay focused on, according to General Motors’ Chief Financial Officer, John Devine. Global motor vehicle sales have grown more than ten percent since 1997, and are expected to top a record 60 million this year, forecasts Devine, adding that a "reasonably conservative estimate" for 2009 moves the figure up above the 70 million mark. The biggest share of that growth, about 29 percent, will come from China, according to GM projections, with other emerging markets, including India, making up most of the rest. Devine predicts the U.S. auto market will continue growing at a modest one percent annual rate. But he also expects to see revenues climb by as much as eight percent. The explanation? In a word, he says, "mix." U.S. motorists continue to upgrade their purchases, opting for larger, more luxurious vehicles, with bigger engines and more options.

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