Vehicle sales in the U.S. may be slowing but all around the world countries are experiencing record sales levels and there seems to be no end to the rise despite concerns about the economy, environment and rising oil prices. German research firm R. L. Polk is now predicting there will be close to one billion cars on the road by the end of the decade and this is expected to increase a further 20% by 2015. If driving in traffic is already making you nuts you may want to start getting used to public transport and fast.

Growth in Western markets is expected to decrease but this will be offset by a rise in sales in newly developed markets such as Eastern Europe, Asia and South America. Just this month India’s Tata launched the new Nano minicar, the cheapest car in the world today, and other carmakers are rushing to follow suit.

You only have to look at the numbers to realize that there will soon be roughly one car for every six people. Growth on the American continent is the slowest at 8%, however, compare this with Asia, which is enjoying growth levels of 43%. What this means is that in the future we’ll be seeing a clear shift in focus towards these new markets, perhaps to the point where vehicles will no longer be designed primarily to the tastes of Western markets.