Most countries will see new-vehicle sales rise

Over the next five years, sales of new vehicles will increase in most of the world's major automotive markets.

Forecasts from J.D. Power and Associates, of Agoura Hills, California, show that:

* Sales gains in the two biggest South American markets will be significant. Argentina will nearly double its volume, from 295,137 last year, to more than 551,000 in 2005. Sales in Brazil are projected to increase 53.7 percent from last year's mark, to nearly 2.2 million in 2005.

* Two countries - India and Mexico - will see sales soar near the 1 million mark. Mexico is expected to top that mark in 2005, with 1,042,110 sales. India in that year is projected to come close to that mark, at 965,306.

* Two of the biggest markets will see modest sales increases. Volume in Japan is projected to climb 11 percent from last year's levels to 6.5 million.

Sales in Western Europe are projected to climb 6.4 percent, to 16.1 million.

* The United States, Canada and South Korea are the only major countries projected to have a sales decrease from last year's levels.

Volume in Canada in 2005 is projected to drop below 1999 levels, to 1.5 million. In the United States, sales are projected to fall by nearly 1 million units from last year's 17.4 million, to 16.5 million in 2005.

Sales in South Korea in 2005 are projected to be down slightly from last year's 1,057,153.

On the following pages, we provide sales histories and forecasts for automakers in these countries and regions: Japan, below; Western Europe and Argentina, Page 52; North America and Korea, Page 54; and Brazil and India, Page 56.

Production histories and forecasts for the world's largest auto-producing countries appeared in the July issue of Automotive News International, or at www.autonewsinternational.com on the Internet.

You can reach David Sedgwick at dsedgwick@crain.com

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