November 29, 2010 10:08 ET

Demand to Bus Transportation to Expand 4.3% Annually Through 2014

ROCKVILLE, MD--(Marketwire - November 29, 2010) - has announced the addition of Freedonia Group Inc's new report "World Buses" to their collection of Industrial Vehicles market reports. For more information, visit

Demand for buses worldwide will expand 4.3 percent annually to 423,300 units in 2014, reflecting rebounding demand in North America following the 2009 recession as well as sustained sales in many other markets. Beyond the US and Japan, both of which experienced significant declines in demand in 2009, the global economic crisis has not had as negative an impact in many markets.

In fact, stalwart economies like those in China and India are forecast to exhibit continued -- albeit somewhat less vigorous -- expansions without noticeable recession-caused drops in demand. The new sense of frugality taking hold among consumers in many Western markets, coupled with volatile fuel prices, has made bus travel a cost-effective option for more people because it represents one of the most fuel-efficient methods for transporting passengers.

Demand for buses tends to be cyclical and depends on region-specific trends, such as demographics, income levels, relative spending on mass transit systems, and per-capita passenger vehicle density. In North America, efforts by the US government to stimulate the economy are already translating into a rebound in bus purchases from 2009 levels.

Canada is likewise focusing billions of dollars on transit infrastructure, with up to 25 percent of this spending historically focused on buses. Other forces expected to support bus demand include increasing congestion levels in major metropolitan centers worldwide and the establishment of dedicated and sometimes guided "busways" in key cities across Central and South America, Australia, France and the UK.

Likewise, the general economic expansions taking place in key emerging markets (despite the developed market economic downturn) require workers to travel further -- usually by bus -- to reach jobs. Bus travel is becoming more of a necessity for urban travelers worldwide as governments enforce limits on the use of personal vehicles (both cars and motorcycles) to reduce pollution and congestion levels. The arrival of new powertrain technologies will also induce administrators to update their fleets, as high fuel prices make hybrid and alternative fuel buses much more cost effective.

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