MUNICH - Asia and Central Europe will have explosive growth in new-car registrations during the next 10 years, according to a study by automotive market data company R.L. Polk.
The study was made available to Automobilwoche, a sister publication to Automotive News.
The study shows that by 2014 new- car registrations in central Europe will have soared by 220 percent from 1995.
In Asia the increase will be 307 percent. There, the Chinese market will grow the most - exploding by 1,065 percent by 2014.
In 2002, more than one million new cars were sold in China. The figure for 2003 is expected to be more than 2 million, which means that China might overtake South Korea and become Asia's second largest auto market after Japan.
The forecast for new-car sales in China in 2006 is more than 3 million.
The study shows that the reasons for this rapid growth are China's entry in the World Trade Organization, the reduction of import duties and the relaxation of import quotas.
Manufacturers' price reductions, higher private incomes and the Chinese government's recent decision to permit new cars to be financed on credit are also fueling the boom.
Malaysia and India are other Asian markets expected to experience high growth.
But Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines and South Korea have not yet recovered from the auto industry's slump there and will hardly grow.
In central Europe, the highest growth is forecast for Hungary and Slovakia with 313 percent and 356 percent, respectively.
The Slovenian and Polish markets will only grow by small margins. These markets already have relatively high levels of car ownership so vehicle demand is not driven by the low number of existing cars but mainly by the need for replacement vehicles.
The most popular cars in central Europe are small cars and lower medium-range cars. These have a market share of 77 percent.