The eighth annual PricewaterhouseCoopers Global CEO Survey found 73% believe it will threaten the revenue growth of their company over the next 12 months.
Of all the sectors canvassed in the survey, automotive is the most concerned by the threat of low cost competition. It is also the most concerned by the detrimental impact of losing key talent. Oil pricing is seen as the third greatest threat while inflation emerges as one of the least important.
On a more positive note, the survey also found there has been significant expansion in many automotive companies. 66% have accelerated expansion plans, 63% have increased research and development and 50% have opened new plants or offices.
Chris Hibbs, UK automotive leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers says: "The survey indicates there has been a high level of development and expansion in the automotive sector. When balanced with the widespread disquiet over low cost competition it can be interpreted as a cause for some concern. However, the best automotive companies are putting methods in place to capitalise on the enormous opportunity presented by low cost and rapidly growing economies."
In terms of development opportunities in specific global territories, China dominates as by far the most popular with 58% naming it as a growth market. India takes second spot with 28% of respondents identifying it.