Record global auto sales expected in 2011

India and Russia are going to drive record global auto sales this year.

Continuing recovery of the global automotive industry will lead to record sales this year, according to a report from Scotia Economics.

The report said sales in emerging economies like China, India and Russia are leading the growth. But it’s also helping, the forecast said, that the U.S. is poised for its second straight year of double-digit percentage growth in auto sales, something that hasn’t happened since the early 1980s.

Scotia Economics said the main source of the auto industry’s recovery has shifted from government support to fight the recession in 2009 to improving employment conditions now.

“The recovery in global car sales has shifted gears and will increasingly be driven by improving labour markets,” said Carlos Gomes, senior economist at Scotia Economics. “This represents a healthy transition from the massive and synchronized monetary and fiscal stimulus that was required to get the industry, and the global economy, back on a positive growth trajectory.”

Canada is forecast to see its auto sales grow two per cent this year to 1.59 million units. That follows seven per cent growth in 2010 and would put this year’s level in line with the last decade’s average.

In the U.S., sales are expected to rise 10% to 12.7 million unit sales this year following a gain of 11% in 2010. That still puts the U.S. market about 20% short of its decade average, Scotia Economics said.

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