TOKYO -- Where will the bulk of the world's cars be assembled this year?
More than a third of the global total will be manufactured in Asia -- and we're not talking about Japan. The developing Asia-Pacific region, which includes China, India, Thailand and Indonesia, will churn out a whopping 30.21 million cars in 2014, according to a new Autofacts forecast by consultancy PwC.
Asia's production prowess will dwarf all other regions' -- and will be nearly double that of the No. 2 automaking center, North America. North America will assemble 17.03 million vehicles.
PwC forecasts global light-vehicle assembly to increase 6 percent to 87.4 million units this year. All regions are expected to see output increase except one: Developed Asia.
Developed Asia, which includes Japan and Australia, should see output fall 2 percent to around 13.37 million units, PwC predicts. Even Europe, which has been hamstrung by years of economic downturn, is expected to book an increase in 2014, the report says.
European Union vehicle assembly should rebound 4 percent to 16.51 million units.
Developed Asia is being hit by capacity cuts in South Korea, Japan and Australia.
That forecast underscores the changing fortunes of Asia's erstwhile auto powerhouses, as sales slow at home. Indeed, next door in emerging Asia, things have never been better.
PwC predicts that vehicle assembly in developing Asia-Pacific will increase 12 percent to 30.21 million units this year. China, the world's biggest auto market and the world's biggest auto manufacturer, will account for the bulk of that -- making 20.8 million vehicles.
In fact, China by itself will account for 24 percent of total global output, PwC says.
Thus, even with a slight reversal in Developed Asia, PwC is optimistic about the sector: "With such a positive outlook, 2014 is shaping up to be a good year indeed for the industry."