European car makers are now more optimistic for sales this year than at the beginning of 2017.
Following its annual meeting in Berlin it forecast 2017 car registrations in the EU will rise +1.5-2% compared to the earlier prediction of 1%.
Over 12.5 million Europeans now work directly or indirectly in the automotive sector, representing 5.7% of total EU employment and passenger car production increased by 2.7% in 2016, totalling 16.5 million units – almost reaching the 2007 pre‐crisis level of 16.6 million cars.
Similar to the trend for car production, after six straight years of decline following the crisis, new car sales are on an upward trend. Last year sales grew by 6.8%, bringing the total number of cars sold to 14.6 million units, the highest volume in nine years.
This year, a slowdown in EU car sales is likely with growth at around 1.5-2%. This represents a slight upward revision from ACEA’s initial January forecast of about 1% growth.
“Despite the positive trends reflected in our Pocket Guide, uncertainty is expected to overshadow our sector in the years to come. We therefore urge the EU to continue its efforts to safeguard the competitiveness of our industry and ensure fair access to the global market place,” stated ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert.
Jonnaert added, “At the same time, our industry remains committed to addressing tomorrow’s challenges, by investing in innovative mobility solutions which are cleaner, safer and smarter. This is also reflected in manufacturers’ on-going efforts to reduce their environmental footprint.”
Even though car production has been on the rise again since 2013, manufacturers have been able to decouple CO2 emissions, energy consumption, water usage and waste generation from production growth.
Total CO2 emissions from car production, for example, have remained stable despite a substantial increase in production volume – while CO2 emissions per car produced dropped by 25.8% between 2007 and 2016.