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PwC's Autofacts Forecasts Global Light Vehicle Assembly of 79.1 Million Units in 2012, Increasing to 83.9 Million Units in 2013

European debt crisis continues to prevent true global recovery within the sector

DETROIT, Nov. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- PwC's Autofacts Global Light Vehicle Assembly forecast is 79.1 million units in 2012, increasing to 83.9 million units in 2013. Although a strong rebound in the automotive industry occurred in North America, it was tempered by continued struggles in Europe and several key Asian markets.

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Autofacts' North America assembly forecast is currently at 15.3 million units for 2012.  The region will also benefit as a result of increased assembly localization from Europe and Japan as automakers look to minimize risk by expanding their global footprint.  The group's U.S. light vehicle sales forecast remains at 14.5 million units, driven largely by pent-up demand and increased availability of financing, despite the impact that Hurricane Sandy had on purchases in October.

"One thing that the industry can never fully predict is the effect of a natural disaster," said Brandon Mason, senior automotive analyst with PwC's Autofacts team.  "However, we do not think it will have a significant impact on full-year sales, as minimal inventory was lost and the supply chain remains largely intact."

The European Union remains the biggest area of concern, as continued weak demand has resulted in painfully low utilisation levels at some automakers, forcing the need for capacity rationalisation in the near future.  Assembly is still expected to stabilise over the next year, reaching 15.7 million units in 2013, an approximate increase of 100 thousand units compared to 2012.

"Europe continues to weigh against truly realizing global economic recovery," said Michael Gartside, senior automotive analyst, PwC's Autofacts. "We expect assembly to stabilise within the region over the next year with growth returning mid-2013.  This is on par for an overall recovery in the second half of the year and into 2014."

Japan is experiencing a significant assembly boost to recover lost inventory during the natural disasters of 2011, but the long-term assembly outlook remains bleak.  Autofacts forecasts 9.1 million units of assembly in the country for 2012, which represents peak volumes during the forecast window through 2018.  Continued appreciation of the Yen, along with the overall trend of localisation to manage geopolitical and supply chain risks, are expected to result in an accelerated assembly shift to current export markets. 

For more details about PwC's forecast of Global Automotive Light Vehicle Assembly download the October issue of PwC Analyst Note at: www.autofacts.com.

About PwC's Automotive Practice
PwC's global automotive practice leverages its extensive experience in the industry to help companies solve complex business challenges with efficiency and quality.  One of PwC's global automotive practice's key competitive advantages is Autofacts®, a team of automotive industry specialists dedicated to ongoing analysis of sector trends.  Autofacts provides our team of more than 4,600 automotive professionals and our clients with data and analysis to assess implications, make recommendations, and support decisions to compete in the global marketplace.

About Autofacts®
Autofacts, PwC's automotive forecasting service, is a provider of automotive market analysis, strategy development, and competitive intelligence to the world's leading vehicle manufacturers, automotive suppliers, and support organizations.  Autofacts service offerings are available on-demand, for one-time purchase and through an annual subscription basis to access the on-line portal with Autofacts' proprietary data query tool.  For more information regarding Autofacts, please visit their website at www.autofacts.com.

About the PwC Network
PwC firms help organizations and individuals create the value they're looking for. We're a network of firms in 158 countries with more than 180,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Tell us what matters to you and find out more by visiting us at www.pwc.com.

Learn more about PwC by following us online: @PwC_LLP, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google +.

© 2012 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the US member firm, and may sometimes refer to the PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

This content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.

SOURCE PwC

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