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Emerging Markets

We help OEMs, suppliers, and related companies deal with the complexity of entering and operating in emerging markets around the globe.

Over the last 10 years, automotive sales in emerging markets, such as China, India, and Brazil, have proved not only resilient but also, until recently, more robust than many experts would have predicted. China, for example, is the largest market as measured by vehicle sales, and—until 2015—it has also been the fastest-growing market in the world. Along with the sales increases comes a rapidly changing market landscape and evolving consumer demands.

As a global firm with dedicated local auto experts, we have helped clients in several areas:

  • constructing a winning 10-year growth strategy
  • developing a compelling China-specific car portfolio via localization and China R&D
  • implementing stringent quality-improvement processes
  • driving a multi-year frontline sales transformation to improve customer satisfaction and sales performance


In the coming decade, the majority of the growth in the Chinese market will come from lower-tier cities. Consumer patterns also differ across regional clusters; we help clients improve their consumer-insight capabilities, innovate their digital-marketing tools, and systematically grow and optimize their dealer network.


In India, the challenges are quite different. The subcontinent pioneered the concept of ultra-low-cost cars, and the low-cost customer segment remains a hearty subset of the burgeoning auto marketplace there. Small cars form more than 75 percent of the total market. We help clients localize products, redesign supply chains, and adjust pricing to meet that demand.

Other global trends, such as electric vehicles (EVs), take on a different character in India: the focus there is on two-wheeled, not four-wheeled vehicles, and lower excise taxes are boosting this growing market. However, with excise duties of 4 percent on EVs compared with 10- to 22 percent on conventional cars, there is also real potential for cycles, cars, and trucks in India’s growing EV market. We help automakers enter this market with the right products aimed at the most appealing customer segments.


In a market like Brazil, localization is key due to both legislation and consumers’ requiring “tropicalized” products, with a good mix of quality and price. Our design-to-value work helps companies optimize cost/value tradeoffs and achieve attractive profit margins.

Questions of where to play in Brazil are also important; some cities there are seeing faster growth in auto sales than their peers in China, whereas others experience auto-sales growth that is slower than in major European cities. With local-market expertise and international experience, we can help automotive companies identify pockets of growth, build a stronghold in those areas, and tap into the vast potential in the developing world.

Related Insights


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The future of mobility in India: Challenges and opportunities for the auto component industry

– The Indian automotive industry has started to experience the effects of the global disruption. Electrification is of particular importance, and might significantly impact auto component manufacturers.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

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