Already humbled by years of economic stagnation and last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, Japan’s continuing decline as one of the world’s leading auto markets is likely to be taken down another peg.
A new study by IHS Automotive predicts that sales in India will reach 4.88 million by 2016, which would move that emerging nation past Japan, which the consulting firm forecasts will see automotive sales of just 4.51 million that year.
Japanese auto sales have been running at barely half their peak rate during the Asian nation’s bubble economy and show little sign of recovery. In fact, IHS expects the market’s sales to again taper off to just 4.25 million by 2020. Japan recorded 4.87 million new vehicle sales in 2010 but saw that number dip to 4.13 million the following year, much of that due to lost production and other problems caused by the March 2011 natural disaster.