RIYADH (AFP) – Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn said on Sunday that the global car market could shrink almost another 14 percent in 2009, after a nine-percent fall last year, due to the global financial crisis.
Ghosn said at a Global Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh that he expected more consolidation in the automotive industry in the months ahead and that recovery would not take place before 2011.
“This is going to be a long recession,” Ghosn said. “There is absolutely no question of the fact that you are going to see more consolidation.”
Ghosn predicted world auto sales would fall to 55 million vehicles in 2009, a fall of almost 14 percent, compared to 63 million in 2008, a year that was already nine percent down on the 69-million figure of 2007.
The global financial crisis had slashed credit for car buyers, two-thirds of whom buy on credit. “We are the first victim of the financial meltdown,” he said of the auto industry.