ACEA forecasts ‘modest’ sales increase

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) anticipates a more modest sales increase for both passenger and commercial vehicles during 2016.

ACEA expects car sales to go up by around two per cent, reaching roughly 14 million units. In 2015, EU passenger car sales grew by 9.3% compared to 2014, bringing the total number of cars sold to 13.7 million units.

‘But after several rocky years since the 2008 financial crisis, the European car market is moving in the right direction again,’ explained ACEA president, Dieter Zetsche. ‘This is great progress, but we are still well below the 2007 pre-crisis level of 15.5 million cars.’

The picture is very similar for production numbers, with EU passenger car output up 6.2% in 2015 compared to 2014. In total, around 15.9 million cars were produced last year – still down from almost 17 million in 2007.

Calling for support to tap into greater market opportunities for Europe’s auto manufacturers and suppliers, Zetsche stated, ‘We need political partners that continue to stand by the principles of free trade. The auto industry – like virtually every other European industry – can best thrive in an environment without trade barriers.’

Dr Zetsche also reiterated the industry’s commitment to contribute constructively to an updated laboratory test for measuring pollutant and CO2 emissions (WLTP), as well as an additional test to measure pollutant emissions under real driving conditions (RDE).