THE GROWTH of car sales in European Union countries will slow down in 2018 to around one per cent, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).
The ACEA has blamed the potential downturn on two main factors – industry slowdown because of new EU regulations on carbon dioxide emissions and a lack of market predictability as a result of Brexit.
In 2017, new car sales in the EU rose by 3.4 per cent to more than 15 million units, but the ACEA claims that this is about to change. It says that the European Commission’s proposed promotions of hybrid and electric vehicles do not sufficiently consider alternatives to EVs. It also believes that Europe is lacking the necessary infrastructure of charging stations.
The ACEA predicts that the UK market will suffer particularly this year, with a possible decline in car sales of around four to five per cent.
Carlos Tavares, president of the ACEA and chairman of PSA Group’s managing board, said at a press conference: ‘The European automobile industry is on a pathway to recovery, coming close to pre-crisis levels after 10 years. But, in light of major regulations ahead of us, as well as the threat of Brexit, this recovery is very fragile.
‘Today, the automotive industry of the EU and the UK are deeply integrated. Changes for this level of integration will most likely have an adverse impact on manufacturers.
‘It is a struggle for our industry to make investment decisions when we don’t know what is just around the corner. What we know today is everyone is holding on.’