Worldwide new vehicle sales in 2012 are expected to rise 6.7 percent over 2011 volumes to 77.7 million vehicles, according to Polk, which believes that the global economy will weather the current European sovereign debt crisis and consumers will return to showrooms around the world. China is expected to make the largest contribution to global sales growth for new vehicles, according to Polk, with an anticipated 16-percent increase over 2011.
The U.S. market will experience single-digit growth, primarily because of the relatively strong year for sales in 2011. U.S. light-vehicle sales are expected to grow at a moderate pace with a 7.3-percent increase in the region this year to 13.7 million vehicles, according to Polk. The market intelligence firm does not expect the U.S. market to achieve pre-recession levels of greater than 16 million vehicles per year until 2015.