How to jump start your car brand in the global economic downturn

    Nick Bull
    Senior Director, Millward Brown

Before the recent economic downtown, the global car market had been growing at about 7 percent per year. It hit record sales of about 70m units in 2007 and a global annual turnover of $1,200bn.

But with huge over-capacity, more contenders in the race and pressure on profit margins, the car industry is now facing a very different and challenging future.

Likewise, the growth targets being promised by some of the car company's chiefs look highly optimistic to say the least.

There are between 50 and 80 car brands available to consumers in any one market, each offering choice in terms of models, hybrids, body styles, engines, options and accessories. Car brands are stretching into every vehicle segment, as well as creating new ones.