A special report in this week's edition of The Economist offers an interesting view of the future. A few nuggets:

  • Emerging markets in China and India will drive dramatic expansion of the industry.

  • In a few years, China will be the second-largest national market, after the U.S.

  • It is probable that more cars will be made in the next 20 years than in the entire history of the industry.

  • Growth will require 180 new factories worldwide, each producing 300,000 cars and light trucks annually.

  • Today's auto plants will not be competitive with the newer plants without extensive retooling.

  • Companies that have grown by mergers and acquisition (GM, Ford, DaimlerChrysler) will be too inefficient to compete effectively with new competitors without extensive streamlining.

Much more here (or on newstands).

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