I’ve been doing a lot of demographic research recently, on markets emerging and otherwise, and I found something that completely surprised me: the number of cars per capita in the world has declined. I was sure it would have gone up, which shows why you have to go to the facts rather than trying to reason: reason can lead you down the wrong path.
So what’s happening? Well, one reason for the decline is the decline in cars per capita in the U.S., where the ratio of cars to people is the highest in the world.
And that is why the automakers are chasing emerging markets. The downside? Average people in China and India can’t afford the fancy cars (with high profit margins) that we here love.