Auto industry revises 2019 car sales forecast to -1%

Brussels, 27 June 2019 – In the side-lines of its annual general meeting in Brussels today, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) revised its forecast for 2019 passenger car registrations downwards to -1%.

ACEA’s initial forecast, published earlier this year, was for growth of up to 1% compared to 2018. The association now expects a slightly negative result for the full year 2019, with total EU car sales projected to be just above 15 million units at the end of this year.

“Aside from the uncertainty due to Brexit and changing macroeconomic conditions, this represents a natural stabilisation of the market,” explained ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert. “Indeed, the pace of growth has been slowing down in recent years.” This is also in line with the European Commission’s downward revision for projected EU GDP growth, as car sales strongly mirror economic growth.

Today, ACEA also released the new edition of its Automobile Industry Pocket Guide, containing the latest data on employment, production, registration, innovation, road safety and trade flows.

As the Guide shows, the automotive sector now provides jobs to 13.8 million Europeans, representing 6.1% of total EU employment. Moreover, 11.4% of all EU manufacturing jobs – some 3.5 million – are in the auto industry. The top five countries for direct manufacturing jobs are Germany (870,000 jobs), France (223,000), Poland (203,000), the UK (186,000) and Romania (185,000).

A new interactive map of automotive factories published today shows that the 19.2 million motor vehicles made in the European Union last year were built at 229 automobile assembly and production plants spread over 19 EU countries.

“This map visualises the highly integrated and complex auto manufacturing network spanning right across the European continent,” said Mr Jonnaert. While finished vehicles might be assembled in one country, parts and components are sourced from many different EU member states.

Jonnaert: “It goes without saying that any additional barriers, costs or delays as a result of Brexit will pose a serious threat to jobs and growth in the auto industry, both in the UK as well as in the EU.”

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Notes for editors

  • The level of growth in EU car sales has been slowing since 2015: +9.3% in 2015, +6.8% in 2016, +3.4 in 2017, +0.1% in 2018.
  • The European Commission revised its projections for EU GDP for 2019 down to 1.5%.

About ACEA

  • ACEA represents the 15 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus manufacturers: BMW Group, CNH Industrial, DAF Trucks, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, PSA Group, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, and Volvo Group.
  • More information can be found on www.acea.be or www.twitter.com/ACEA_eu.
  • Contact: Cara McLaughlin, Communications Director, cm@acea.be, +32 2 738 73 45 or +32 485 88 66 47.

About the EU automobile industry

  • 13.8 million Europeans work in the auto industry (directly and indirectly), accounting for 6.1% of all EU jobs.
  • 11.4% of EU manufacturing jobs – some 3.5 million – are in the automotive sector.
  • Motor vehicles account for €428 billion in taxes in the EU15 countries alone.
  • The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of €84.4 billion for the EU.
  • The turnover generated by the auto industry represents over 7% of EU GDP.
  • Investing €57.4 billion in R&D annually, the automotive sector is Europe's largest private contributor to innovation, accounting for 28% of total EU spending.