Passenger vehicles are the most common mode of conveyance in the developed countries and they are increasing in numbers in the developing countries as well due to increasing per capita income. Passenger vehicles market in a country is by large dependent on its present economic condition which is why this industry tumbled down during the U.S. and European recessions. Many of the passenger vehicle manufacturers including General Motors, Ford and Chrysler had to seek for a heavy sum of loans to continue manufacturing in the weaker economic situation due to low demands. Passenger vehicles market can be segmented into four segments namely small, medium, large and premium.
The demand for Special Utility Vehicles (SUVs) has surged in recent times due to the increasing leisure and tour activities globally. Small cars are also growing at a fast pace as they find less traffic on the road as compared to large passenger vehicles. The emerging vehicle financing market has been encouraging the passenger vehicles industry wherein the customers are provided loans to own the vehicle. Owning a passenger vehicle is observed as a sign of social status in most of the developing countries, however nowadays they are being purchased by the middle class families also.
Increasing raw material prices is one of the greatest concerns for the passenger vehicles market. The prices of iron, steel and plastics have soared to high levels in recent times which have led to an increase in the price of passenger vehicles to consumers. Passenger vehicles market is largely dependent on research and development where their products need to deliver the real-time customer requirement in order to remain competitive. Additionally, the governments are putting pressures on the passenger car manufacturers to produce efficient and low-emission vehicles which have intensely pressurized the latter to engage in research and development works. European Emission Standards (EURO I, EURO II, EURO III, EURO IV and EURO V), Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) are few of the most common emission standards followed in the global regions. The electric and hybrid passenger vehicles are catching the market due to their fuel efficiency and low emission. In general, the production process of new model of a passenger car takes about two and a half to three years.
Passenger vehicles are mostly sold through independent dealerships affiliated with a manufacturer. The demand calculation by the passenger vehicle manufacturer determines the number of vehicles to be sent at a particular dealer location. Most of the passenger vehicle companies put their manufacturing facility in country where they sell them to avoid transportation costs, currency fluctuation risks, and trade barriers. However, premium passenger vehicles are mostly traded as their per-unit sales is low and setting up manufacturing plant for them would not incur benefits. Passenger vehicle manufacturers have integrated horizontally than vertically to reduce production cost wherein they source their parts and components from vendors instead of manufacturing them.Among regions, Asia Pacific was the largest passenger vehicle market in 2013 followed by Europe.
Asia Pacific is expected to continue with its leadership position by 2020 due to its growing population and increasing per capita income. The key companies operating in global passenger vehicles market are General Motors, Volkswagen, Toyota, Hyundai, Ford, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Honda, Suzuki and Renault. Most of the top passenger vehicle manufacturers in 2013 belonged to Japan and the U.S.
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