Auto Market in Europe Down Until 2019 image

Analysts predict that the auto market in western Europe will not revive until 2019, which might lead to further plant closures in the region.

Auto sales in western Europe are expected to drop to 12 million next year, from 13.2 million in 2012, according to AlixPartners. Sales are due to remain flat until the end of the decade, as unemployment continues to increase, the consumer confidence drops, reducing the spending power.

“Flat is the new up,” said Stefano Aversa, co-president of AlixPartners. “The good news is that the decline will stop but the bad news is that it will not get better anytime soon.”

Since 2007 auto sales in western Europe have dropped by almost a quarter, as the economic growth has been affected by the financial crisis, increased unemployment and falling consumer spending. Although auto sales in the UK have done amazingly well, this will be offset by the continued pain in Spain, Italy and France. The major consumer trends which affect auto demand are the low interest in ownership among young drivers, as well as a shift away from driving seen among older Europeans.

“We see a continuing reduction or bottoming out this year,” Andy Palmer, executive vice-president of Nissan, told the Financial Times regarding the European market. “There is nothing obvious we see to say that a recovery is on the way.”


  • JudeFr

    There's no getting away from the fact that we are all having to tighten our belts and the first thing that becomes non- essential is a new car. However from what I can see, the auto manufacturers and the autoparts producers actually seem to be doing rather well. I read that Schaeffler has recently started construction on a new factory in Russia whilst also expanding in Hungary, the US and Asia. I think here lies the key to how they are managing to remain profitable as are many others. Open up where overheads and wages are lower – raise production levels and make more profit, which in turn enables companies to maintain a healthy presence within the EU despite its current problems. Incidently I do get the feeling that optimism is currently the order of the day rather than pessimism. The EU looks as though it has finally started its long journey on the road to recovery.