BRUSSELS Jan 28 Europe is set to end six years
of falling auto sales in 2014 with a 2 percent increase in
passenger car registrations, the Association of European
Carmakers (ACEA) said on Tuesday.
New car registrations in the European Union fell 1.7 percent
last year to 11.85 million, the lowest level since 1995, when
the EU had only 15 countries compared with 28 now.
However, 2013 ended on a brighter note. Sales grew in each
of the last four months, finishing with a 13.3 percent jump in
December to help keep the annual decline lower than forecast at
the start of the year.
The market is expected to make a gradual recovery in 2014,
with 1.4 percent growth in European Union GDP translating into a
2 percent increase for the auto sector, Philippe Varin, ACEA
president and CEO of PSA Peugeot Citroen, told a news
"This would mean hovering around or just above the 12
million units mark," Varin said, adding that the level had been
almost 16 million in 2007.
Varin said he expects the German and French markets to
recover after declines of 4.2 percent and 5.7 percent
respectively and Britain to be in good shape after 10.8 percent
growth in 2013.
Spain, with a 3.3 percent rise, is also recovering, while
Italy should bottom out after a 7.1 percent drop.
Total motor vehicle registrations last year fell by 1.4
percent to 13.6 million. Production in 2013 is estimated at 16
million vehicles, compared with 19.7 million in 2007.
The ACEA also set out four focus areas for policymakers:
innovation, growth through trade, regulatory support and
managing change. The last of these is to address the need to
smooth restructuring initiatives and increase labour
The association insists all four are required to rebuild the
competitiveness of the sector.