Automakers are now poised at an inflection point of mammoth proportions. As the Trends Editors explained in 2003, stagnant auto sales in the developed world are distracting us from the enormous and virtually untapped market for ultra-cheap vehicles in the developing world. As we forecasted, powerful trends in materials science, manufacturing methods, engine designs, and business models are converging to pave the way for the sales of a billion or more vehicles in the next two decades. Only a small fraction of those sales will be to today’s auto owners. What will this mean for the existing auto companies? What will it mean for the quality of life in the developing world? Who will be the beneficiaries, and who will be the victims? We’ll map out the road ahead and show you the way.
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