The global car and automobile sales industry remain slow following a stormy end to 2008, according to a new report from IBISWorld. The financial crisis that crippled the U.S. economy rippled through other countries around the globe, causing unemployment to rise and wealth to dive. The industry is vulnerable to economic shifts, given its dependency on employment rates, overall consumer spending, financing rates and home values. Due to lower disposable income and growing pessimism about the future, demand for cars dropped.

“Motor vehicle sales crashed in 2008 and 2009, although they have begun to recover since,” said Radia Amari, industry analyst. Nonetheless, the industry has faced additional obstacles since the global recession. In 2011, the tsunami and earthquake in Japan adversely affected the industry by reducing the supply at dealers selling vehicles made in Japan or containing parts made there. However, supply levels returned to normal in 2012. Over the five years to 2012, industry revenue is expected to grow at an annualized rate of 1.4% to $4 trillion. Revenue is expected to grow 3.4% in 2012 as the industry settles into its long-term growth path.

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