will increase but stay below 16 million annual deliveries — a target hit from 1999 through 2007 — through 2015, according to
a new report
from AlixPartners LLC. Why? Blame factors like lingering unemployment, which has been over
8% seasonally adjusted
since January 2009, and rising overhead costs to build cars. But the most interesting shift is demographic: AlixPartners says Baby Boomers "simply have less reason to drive," and young people care less about cars. We've reported on the latter trend
, but AlixPartners says less driving among Boomers contributes to 13% of the slack in future demand. The firm suggests automakers make "aggressive, well-informed investments" in better cars and trucks and expect the economy to generate little tailwind. Global "mega-platforms" that are used on numerous cars — think Ford's C-platform, which underpins cars like the
— will proliferate.
In other news:
Toyota will supply BMW with hydrogen fuel cells and hybrid technology, Japan's Nikkei News reports via Automotive News .
Fans of Mazda's RX sports cars should take a moment of silence. After 45 years of production, the Japanese automaker will build its last rotary engine — an RX staple — this month, The Detroit News reports .
Nissan paid CEO Carlos Ghosn some $12 million at current exchange rates last year, Bloomberg News reports . That's more than seven times what rivals Toyota and Honda paid their CEOs, but far less than what Ford paid CEO Alan Mulally.
Honda overtook Toyota to become the top non-luxury brand in overall consumer perception, according to a brand equity study by Harris Interactive.