World car sales to pick up sharply in 2010: Scotiabank

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New car sales around the world will gain momentum in 2010 after an initial recovery this year, likely setting the stage for record sales in 2011, the research arm of Scotiabank said Tuesday in a report.

The emerging markets of China, India and Brazil will take the lead, but "the key US market" will not be far behind with an expected double-digit, 10 percent growth in auto sales, Scotia Economics said in its Global Auto Report.

"Global car sales will continue to be buoyed by the ongoing massive and synchronized monetary and fiscal stimulus," said Carlos Gomes, senior economist of Scotia Economics.

The stimulus "has generated a global economic recovery, including improving auto lending across the globe," he added.

The report said better access to credit and the return to three percent growth in the world economy will enable 2010 car sales to recover half the ground lost over the past two years, setting the stage for record volumes in 2011.

In the United States, car sales stopped declining by mid-year and have resumed normal annual growth rates since August as the economy experienced a "nascent" recovery, the report said.

In 2009, China surpassed the United States as the world's biggest car market, with sales surging by more than 40 percent to 7.3 million units in 2009, with an additional 20 percent growth expected in 2010 to almost nine million vehicles.

In India, car sales also reached a record 1.4 million units in 2009, with gains accelerating sharply in the second half of 2009 and credit availability improved, Scotia Economics said.

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