In 2010 the number of operational vehicles in the world passed the 1 billion mark for the first time according to research done by WardsAuto. This number includes cars, buses as well as light and medium duty trucks.
The US has 239.8 million vehicles on the road. With 0.77 vehicles per person, it is the highest vehicle to person ratio in the world. According to Wall Street Journal, year-to-date light vehicle sales are up 10.9% in 2011, after a dramatic slowdown in new car sales in 2010.
The most dramatic growth happened in China where vehicle registrations jumped 27% to a total of 78 million units. China is an exploding car marker with huge growth potential. Even with the the second largest vehicle population, the vehicle to person ratio is only 0.06 vehicles per person which is about 13 times smaller than United States. China overtook US in 2009 as world’s biggest car as measured by new car sales.
Emerging markets in India and Brazil also experienced dramatic growth adding to the overall population of vehicles.