Good news is on the horizon for global automakers as a confluence of factors could lead the number of cars sold globally to surge from the current estimate of 82 million for 2013 to over 100 million by 2018, according to a recent report from The Detroit Free Press. What's interesting, though, is that it won't be the US market leading the surge.

US sales are expected to hit 15.5 million units this year, and will continue to rise through 2018, although the pace of the increase will gradually slow down. Around the globe, though, sales are expected to increase as much as 22 percent in the next four years. It's this increase in demand that will force automakers to deliver an additional 21 million units.

The Free Press report cites a number of sources at IHS Automotive, which is predicting Europe to rebound. "We are going to finally see economic growth in Europe," according to IHS economist Charles Chesbrough. "Europe is probably at the very end of their unemployment losses," he said.

It isn't Europe that will truly bring the numbers, though. Naturally, China's name has been thrown around, along with Brazil, Thailand and Chile. "In every major economy in the world we are expecting economic growth," Chesbrough said.

It's this push that is expected to most benefit American production, as IHS Automotive's Mike Jackson predicts an increase in US automotive exports by two million vehicles by 2020, provided suppliers are able to adapt to the rapid increase in global demand. "That is certainly one of these questions that remains," Jackson told The Detroit Free Press. "There hasn't been a tremendous amount of investment within the supply base."

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