By Anthony Clark, Plastics & Rubber Weekly
London -- Forecasters are predicting a more positive outlook than first expected for European automotive production during the next four years, with a strong indication that output will return to the pre-recession highs of 2007 by 2014.
According to the latest European Car and LCV Production Outlook Report, commissioned by the UK-based Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the recovery in production volumes has been underpinned by better than expected performances from several vehicle manufacturers and specific models.
It is expected that European volumes in 2010 will reach 17.2 million units compared with 16.1 million in 2009. By 2014, production volumes are expected to grow to reach 20.4 million, back to the levels achieved in 2007.
"Although vehicle production volumes across Europe fell by more than 2.8 million units in 2009, there is increasing confidence regarding 2010 and beyond, thanks to the acceleration of new model programmes and the strong performance by many vehicle manufacturers over the first quarter of 2010," said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.