The so-called BRIC markets -- Brazil, India, Russia and China -- will build more cars than the mature markets of Europe, the U.S. and Japan next year, according to the consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers. Where are the next growth opportunities for automakers?
Calum MacRae, PwC's Autofacts leader, gave me a new acronym I'd never heard before -- VIPEP. It stands for Vietnam, Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt and the Philippines.
Car production in those countries was 935,000 units last year, a number that PwC forecasts will grow to 1.5 million by 2016. Not much at first sight, but China was nowhere a decade ago and last year became the world's largest auto market.
I asked MacRae what the VIPEP countries need to become serious players. He listed five conditions:
• A population of more than 80 million
• A strong track of record of economic growth
• A good infrastructure already in place
• Political, economical and social stability
• Gross domestic product per capita of more than $5,000
When a VIPEP country meets all these criteria, its vehicle production could begin to boom, MacRae said.
It's very unlikely that any VIPEP country will become the new China – PwC expects Chinese production to grow to almost 17 million in 2012 from 13.8 million expected this year, but the VIPEP nations could approach Russia as car production powerhouses in the next decade.
Russian production is expected to reach 1.8 million in 2012 from 1.33 million this year. PwC forecasts that Indonesia, the largest of the VIPEP countries in terms of automaking, will build almost 900,000 units in 2016.
It will be interesting to see how this all develops in the next 10 years.