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Car sales to peak in 2022 as robotaxis take off

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Canalys predicts that 93,7-million cars will be sold worldwide in 2017, up just 1,7% on 2016.
It expects low single-digit percentage sales volume growth to continue for the next five years, peaking at 99-million cars sold in 2022. Annual global sales will then decline as the urban mobility revolution, already affecting the market, gathers pace.
“The convenience of owning a car comes at a cost,” says Chris Jones, chief analyst: automotive at Canalys. “Cars are under-used — they sit idle for more than 90% of the time.
“The wider availability of urban mobility services, such as ride-hailing, car-sharing and robotaxis, will further reduce car ownership. With the expectation of everything on demand, these services will revolutionise how people travel.”
Canalys vice-president Sandy Fitzpatrick adds: “There are already too many cars on our heavily-congested roads, and most pollute the air and only carry one person — the driver.
“It will be irresponsible of governments to let this ‘car park’ increase in the coming years. Legislation must be introduced to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars and to allow autonomous vehicles on our roads.”
In this climate, no car-maker is too big to fail, says Jones. “They will continue to fight for sales growth and must seek new revenue streams, including urban mobility services. Cars will increasingly become connected, electric, autonomous and shared.
“Car-makers that are too slow or too conservative to adapt their strategies will disappear.”