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The latest April forecast for Western Europe from IHS Automotive posted another robust uplift of 6.7 percent year over year (y/y) to 1.12 million units, although this was slightly down on the uplift in the first quarter and brought the year-to-date increase down to 8.2 percent.
However, the overall sales trend is up with the latest SAAR rate forecast at 13.03 million units which is the first time the rate has climbed over 13 million units since March 2011. This is due to ongoing recovery in southern Europe and robust growth being posted in Germany and the UK as the market continues to show signs of a concerted recovery.
For 2015, IHS Automotive expects passenger car demand in Western Europe to continue to grow, by around 3 percent y/y to around 12.5 million units. The gains should continue in modest increments until the end of the decade with the level at the end of the decade recovering to 13.5 million units.
The market in Western Europe has continued to respond positively to the improvement in confidence and macroeconomic indicators across the region. Nevertheless, there are still significant risks of a significant reverse caused by a potential Greek default or the geopolitical crises in Ukraine and the Middle East. However, the German economy's ongoing high degree of international competitiveness and persistently robust consumer demand means the passenger car market is showing steady and consistent growth.
Source: IHS Automotive
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