EU car sales grow to slow to 1% in 2018, ACEA predicts
BRUSSELS -- Grow in the EU's new car sales is likely to slow to 1 percent in 2018, industry association ACEA said, warning that stricter rules on car emissions and Brexit were a threat to the industry.
Last year, new passenger car registrations in the EU rose 3.4 percent in 2017, the fourth consecutive year of growth, reaching more than 15 million vehicles for the first time since 2007.
ACEA President Carlos Tavares, who is also PSA Group CEO, blamed the industry slowdown on new EU regulations on carbon dioxide emissions and a lack of market predictability brought on by Britain's impending exit from the bloc.
"In light of major EU legislation ahead of us, notably new CO2 targets for cars and vans as well as the threat of Brexit, this recovery is fragile," he said in a statement.
He said the European Commission's proposals to promote low-emissions vehicles did "not sufficiently consider other alternatives" to electric cars.
On Brexit, he urged negotiators to come to a swift arrangement on the new terms of Britain's trading relationship with the bloc. ACEA believes the Brexit transition period should take place over three years instead of less than two years.
"It is a struggle for our industry to make investment decisions when we don't know what is just around the corner," Tavares said.
ACEA said the additional time would let businesses "adapt to new realities and to allow for crucial facilities, such as customs infrastructure, to be built to a level that can cope with the additional demands."
Nick Gibbs contributed to this report