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Business

European car market set to recover, study claims

A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers suggests that the sluggish mood of the European car market will be over soon. New car registrations are forecast to pick up next year despite relative market saturation.

PwC researchers said Thursday the 5-year crisis on the car market in Europe was in the process of bottoming out. They predicted rising registrations of new vehicles on the continent starting in 2014.

PwC automobile expert Felix Kuhnert admitted that the record levels seen back in 2007, when 16 million new cars were sold in Europe, would not be reached again any time soon. But he noted that next year at least some 12 million new registrations would be logged across the continent, according to calculations made by experts of the consultancy firm.

In 2019, PwC expects European sales of new cars to rise to 14.9 million units, while 16.7 million cars would be sold in the US.

China in the top spot

"It's true that the automotive market in Europe is saturated to a large extent," Kuhnert said in a statement in Frankfurt. "But many people will buy new cars by way of replacing their old ones - a move they've postponed for a long time because of the protracted economic crisis."

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Automotive suppliers expanding

PricewaterhouseCoopers added that car production would see a boost, particularly in Germany, with quite a number of new models from VW, BMW and Mercedes to hit the market over the next couple of years.

But the sales predictions for Europe paled beside the figures forecast for China. The Asian nation was expected to register 27.7 million cars in 2019, up from 18.1 million this year.

"That would mean the Chinese car market would become as big as the markets of the US and Western Europe combined," Kuhnert noted.

hg/ipj (dpa, Reuters)

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