Ford will increase light-vehicle output globally more than any other automaker over the next seven years and crack the Top 5 among the biggest producers in 2016, based on the WardsAuto/AutomotiveCompass forecast.

The automaker will account for 8% of global output in 2020, compared with 7% in 2013. The 1-point gain in production share will outdistance increases by all other manufacturers. Even Volkswagen, forecast to overtake Toyota in 2016 as the No.1 global producer, will see its share increase by just 0.2 percentage points in the next seven years.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance is closest to Ford in expected production share gains, forecast to rise 0.7 percentage points to 9.7% by 2020. Others seen picking up ground include BMW, Daimler, Honda, Tata, Suzuki and VW.

Big names expected to lose share include Fiat-Chrysler, General Motors, Hyundai, Mazda and Toyota.

Much of Ford’s gains will come from doubling output in Asia, especially in China, India and Thailand.

A main reason for Ford’s forecast acceleration is its lack of investment in China in the prior decade when the country surged from seemingly nowhere to become the highest-volume LV producer. Ford therefore is increasing output from a smaller base in China than most other global automakers, leading to heftier percentage increases. However, in three years it will be the fifth biggest producer in China, up from eighth this year.

Ford’s production share also will grow in Europe and South America, but will stay relatively flat in North America, its highest-volume region.

Ford will produce 53% of its LVs in North America in 2013. The region’s share will decline to 37% in 2020 as the automaker’s production mix rises in Asia-Pacific to 30% from 17% this year. In Europe it will be producing 24% of its LVs in 2020, up from 23% in 2013, and South America will increase to 8% from 6.5%.

Leading Ford’s growth will be small LVs, including A-, B- and C-size cars, car-based compact vans and small CUVs. Its production mix of small LVs will climb to 56% in 2020 from 48.5% in 2013.

Most of Ford’s small-LV increases will be in Asia. However, compact vans will be especially strong in Europe, and small CUVs will experience solid growth in Asia, Europe and South America.

North America remains Ford’s bastion for large trucks, although for large vans, alone, Europe will be its largest source, meeting roughly half the automaker’s needs.

With output of the Fiesta shifting out of the region in 2017, Ford’s small-car volume will decline in North America, while midsize CUVs, large SUVs and Ford Mustang, globally segmented in the Wards/AC forecast as a Sport Vehicle, will pick up some of the slack.

One segment where Ford will be losing global share is in large CUVs. Geely’s Volvo brand, GM, Great Wall and Hyundai Group are forecast to gain share in the segment at the expense of Ford and others.

In Europe, much of Ford’s strength will be in the eastern countries of Russia and Turkey, but Spain in the West also will undergo robust growth.

Midsize pickups, along with small LVs, will gain traction in South America for Ford. In fact, because it abandoned production of mid-pickups in North America and does not build them in Europe, South America nearly will equal Asia-Pacific in volume for the segment.

hstoddard@wardsauto.coms