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European car market to contract 1% in 2022, ACEA forecasts

Vehicles sitting in traffic approach the Blackwall Tunnel, in London

BERLIN (Reuters) - The European Union's car market is on track to shrink this year, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) said on Friday, forecasting a 1% dip to 9.6 million units in a downward revision from an initial projection for a return to growth.

"Compared to the 2019 pre-pandemic figures, this represents a drop of 26% in car sales in the space of just three years," the ACEA said in a statement, with reference to the updated forecast for 9.6 million units this year.

Brexit, the coronavirus pandemic, semiconductor supply bottlenecks and the war in Ukraine had all hit the sector, the ACEA said, calling for framework conditions to be put in place to allow a recovery.

"These include greater resilience in Europe's supply chains, an EU Critical Raw Materials Act that ensures strategic access to the raw materials needed for e-mobility, and an accelerated roll-out of charging infrastructure," said ACEA President and CEO of BMW, Oliver Zipse.

(Writing by Paul Carrel)