Auto executives across the globe are increasingly pessimistic about their industry, and only a small number expect their companies’ profits to rise in the next five years, according to an annual survey.
The survey of 200 senior executives worldwide painted a bleak picture for the industry, with most predicting continued restructuring and too much factory capacity across the globe, according to the survey conducted by the accounting and advisory firm KPMG LLP.
Many expected Detroit’s three automakers to continue their market share decline during the next five years, with Toyota Motor Corp., Hyundai Motor Co., Honda Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG continuing to gain. But they also thought the U.S.-based manufacturers would continue to become more efficient and competitive.
Only 15 percent of the executives surveyed expected profits to increase in five years, while 24 percent predicted declines and 46 percent said the bottom line was too volatile and unpredictable to forecast, according to the survey results released Thursday.
But half the executives, from automakers and parts suppliers, said the U.S.-based manufacturers are succeeding with restructuring and on a path to becoming more competitive. Forty-three percent were neutral and 6 percent disagreed, according to the survey.
Revving up: Despite a decline in 2008 sales, Audi AG says it’s not pulling back when it comes to product development and marketing in the U.S.
The German maker of luxury cars is working to add 14 new models to its fleet by 2015, said Johan de Nysschen, president of Audi of America Inc., during an interview Friday in Detroit, ahead of next week’s North American International Auto Show. The new models are expected to be virtually identical in Europe and the U.S.
Audi reported a slight increase in U.S. market share in 2008 despite a 6.1 decrease in sales. It sold a total of 87,760 cars and light trucks in the U.S. last year. Audi is a division of Volkswagen AG.
“We’re quite happy with 2008, and are quite bullish on Audi,” management board member Peter Schwarzenbauer said. “We’re going forward with investments and doing work on the brand. All this makes us optimistic that we’ll gain more market share in the U.S.”
From wire reports
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