Auto industry expects stable market in 2017

Brussels, 8 February 2017 – The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) shared its market expectations and some of its key policy recommendations for the year ahead at a press conference today.

“Contrary to many newspaper headlines, and despite Brexit or the Italian referendum, consumer confidence has, so far, remained robust,” explained ACEA President Dieter Zetsche, who is in Brussels for the association’s annual reception this evening. Indeed, EU passenger car sales grew by 6.8% last year, bringing the total number of cars sold to 14.6 million units – the highest volume in nine years.

However, uncertainty is expected to overshadow 2017, when a slowdown in EU car sales is likely with growth at around 1%, according to ACEA estimates. “Much will depend on the evolution of macro-economic conditions and political developments, but we expect our market to remain stable. Therefore, we urge the EU to continue its efforts to ensure fair access to the global market place.”

2017 also marks the entry into force of two pieces of important emissions-testing legislation: an updated laboratory test for measuring pollutant and CO2 emissions from cars (WLTP) and the first step of a new test to measure pollutant emissions under real driving conditions (RDE). “Both WLTP and RDE are essential measures to win back the trust of customers,” Zetsche stated. “But both need a proper implementation.”

On RDE, the European Commission has yet to publish the fourth and last package which, amongst many things, will lay down the procedures for in-use surveillance testing of vehicles, clarify how multi-stage built vans will be tested, and address the deficiencies of the data analysis tools. 

Zetsche: “Regarding WLTP, a key success factor will be consumer information. And policy makers must also ensure that the shift to WLTP does not impact vehicle taxation by increasing costs for consumers.” To that end, ACEA has published a leaflet explaining the transition to WLTP, which also puts forward key policy recommendations to safeguard a smooth switch to the more accurate WLTP test.

Notes for editors

Learn more about WLTP

  • For more information about WLTP, the benefits of the new lab test and policy recommendations for its proper implementation, download the ‘Getting ready for WLTP’ leaflet at: (soon to be complemented by a question-driven website for consumers).

Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars

  • Dieter Zetsche has been a member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG since 16 December 1998, and Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG since 1 January 2006. He is also Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Division.
  • Dr Zetsche was born in Istanbul, Turkey, on 5 May 1953.
  • After attending school in Frankfurt and obtaining the Abitur (university entrance examination), he studied electrical engineering from 1971 to 1976 at the University of Karlsruhe and graduated as an engineer.
  • He joined the research department of the then Daimler-Benz AG in 1976. Dr Zetsche completed a doctorate in engineering in 1982 at the University of Paderborn.

About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) represents the 15 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus makers: BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler Truck, Ferrari, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Iveco Group, JLR, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, and Volvo Group
  • Visit for more information about ACEA, and follow us on or


  • Cara McLaughlin, Communications Director,, +32 485 88 66 47
  • Ben Kennard, Content Editor and Press Manager,, +32 485 88 66 44

About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.9 million Europeans work in the automotive sector
  • 8.3% of all manufacturing jobs in the EU
  • €392.2 billion in tax revenue for European governments
  • €101.9 billion trade surplus for the European Union
  • Over 7% of EU GDP generated by the auto industry
  • €59.1 billion in R&D spending annually, 31% of EU total
Content type Press release
Vehicle types All vehicles
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