Globally, most engines will displace 1.0-1.9-liters by next year, 52% by 2020

Small, fuel efficient vehicle engines in the 1.0-liter-to-1.9-liter displacement range already make up the lion's share of the global vehicle fleet, and that number is going to get larger. A WardsAuto/AutomotiveCompass global powertrain forecast says the small engines will climb from 49 percent this year to over half next year, and then 52 percent by 2020. While the percentage change isn't much, the volume is huge: 15 million more vehicles.

Stringent emissions standards, such as the US mandate for 54.5 mpg corporate average fuel economy by 2025, is pushing the forecast. Another anticipated market force is sales growth in emerging markets, where smaller vehicles make up most of their volume. Small cars, like the Scion iQ (pictured) and the Ford Fiesta, will drive much of this growth, but B- and C-size crossover utility vehicles (CUVs) will continue to play a large role in smaller engine vehicle sales around the world. WardsAuto predicts that 2.0-2.9-liter engine vehicles in things like CUVs, pickups, SUVs and vans, will also make up a large chunk of the vehicles sold around the world.

Government policies on fuel economy standards and CO2 emissions reductions are built on lighter, highly fuel efficient vehicles growing in sales volume. There's also a lot of hope for electric vehicle sales growing to help meet those targets. WardsAuto/AutomotiveCompass thinks EV sales will go up in volume and will outsell large 4.0-4.9-liter or 5.0-liter-plus light-duty vehicle in sales volume through 2020.

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