Brussels, Belgium – Vehicle production in Europe is on the path to recovery, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA). Recovering from the very low levels of 2009, production grew by 11 per cent in 2010, although it is still 8 per cent below the levels reached in 2008, and 14 per cent below the pre-crisis figure in 2007.

New vehicle registrations fell by 5.6 per cent in 2010 compared to 2009, primarily due to the phasing out of stimulus measures, the ACEA said. The demand for low-emission vehicles that emit less than 120 grams of CO2 per kilometre rose by 20 per cent to a total of 3.9 million cars, making up 29 per cent of the total demand for new cars.

A total of 16.9 million motor vehicles were produced in the European Union in 2010, with cars accounting for 15.1 million units. Germany remained the largest car producer in the EU with 5.6 million units in 2010, an 11.8 per cent increase over 2009. France and Spain each produced 1.9 million cars, up 5.7 and 5.6 per cent respectively.

Among the biggest markets, the U.K. expanded the most in 2010 with a total of 1.3 million cars, up 27.1 per cent. For the first time, the Czech Republic produced more than one million cars, and increase of 9.5 per cent.

Globally, car production increased by 22.4 per cent in 2010, after a 9.6 per cent downturn in 2009. In total, 58.3 million cars were manufactured worldwide in 2010. The EU was the largest producer of cars, accounting for 26 per cent of world car production, followed by China, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, India and the U.S. (light truck production is not included).

The European Union accounted for 23.8 per cent of all new passenger cars registered in the world in 2010, followed by 20.6 per cent in the U.S. (including light trucks) and 20.1 per cent in China.

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