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SOFIA (Bulgaria), April 18 (SeeNews) - Annual growth of passenger car production in Southeast Europe (SEE) in 2017 was three times higher than the European average, according to a report prepared by regional business intelligence provider SeeNews.
In 2017, vehicle production in SEE marked 14% annual growth rate against a European average of 3.7% and 1.9% globally, while passenger car sales grew by 9.7%, as compared to Europe’s 3.1% and global 2.4% annual growth rates, according to the report entitled, Southeast Europe: The New Hot Destination of the Global Automotive Industry. The report was presented on Wednesday at the SEE Automotive Connect and Supply conference in Novi Sad, in Serbia.
This upward trend, evidenced in all local markets but Macedonia, is attributable to the region’s macroeconomic stability, the report reads.
The report highlights that, despite dynamic growth rates, the number of cars per 1,000 Southeast Europeans remains far below the European average. Nonetheless, it concludes that these figures demonstrate the automotive sector’s potential for development in the region.
Eurostat data indicates that Slovenia and Bulgaria topped passenger car ownership rankings with 531 and 441 vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants in 2016, respectively, with the latter country outpacing Slovenia in terms of growth.
Romania accounted for 57.1% of the region's total passenger car production in 2017, compared to 64.1% in 2015, but this share is expected to grow again in 2018 thanks to the introduction of Ford’s EcoSport model at the end of 2017.
In March 2017, Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors also announced that it was considering Romania, Hungary and Slovakia as options for building a new 200-million euro production site.
As per the increase in combined revenue of all companies entering SeeNews’ annual TOP 100 SEE ranking, the automotive sector in Southeast Europe shows development in the 2007-2016 period unmatched by any other industry in the region.
With a compound annual growth rate of 14.7% between 2012 and 2017, it is set as a priority sector in most SEE countries – including Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria and Macedonia, where local governments are implementing incentives to attract and facilitate foreign investment. Closer collaboration with the IT sector presents a key challenge, but is expected to boost the sector’s competitiveness in the world automotive market.
In a global context, the region’s accelerating macroeconomic growth is set to reflect on the automotive industry, while protectionist measures implemented in some countries may stall development.
SeeNews’ Southeast Europe: The New Hot Destination of the Global Automotive Industry report can be viewed here.
Further coverage of the SEE Automotive Connect & Supply conference is available on SeeNews.