Carmakers foresee a moderate sales increase in Europe this year image

After a solid 2015 of auto sales in the European marker, the automakers expect for this year to be at more moderate pace.

The European auto market increased with a solid 9.3 percent last year, to 13,713,526 units of passenger car registrations, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. As for 2016, the top European automotive executives project another year of upward trend, but at slower pace, and nowhere near the 16 million units recorded reached in 2007. “Europe will grow at a reasonable rate in 2016, but not at all-time high volumes previously seen in a number of the markets,” Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche told Automotive News Europe. The region is finally recovering after the long euro crisis generated mainly by the Greek economic problems, an improvement backed up by the solid recovery of most of southern European markets. “The markets are coming back. The southern European countries are coming back, such as Spain and Portugal,” Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said.

Ford also sees a modest sales growth in the region, with the south playing an important role in the upward trend, helping to balance some slower gains elsewhere. “We’re really seeing good solid growth in southern Europe for the first time in a long time,” CEO Jim Farley said in an interview. Therefore, taking into account a further solid growth in markets such France, Spain and Italy, Europe’s new-car registrations are expected to grow more than 3 percent to 14.46 million vehicles in western and eastern Europe this year, according to IHS Automotive, while PricewaterhouseCoopers and LMC Automotive project the sales in Europe to rise to 14.6 million in 2016.

Via Automotive News Europe