On the occasion of its 25th anniversary General Assembly meeting in Berlin yesterday, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) revised its forecast for 2016 car registrations upwards from its initial January forecast of 2% growth.

"Looking ahead, we now forecast growth for EU passenger car sales in the region of 5% this year. Commercial vehicle sales should also grow substantially," said ACEA president, Dieter Zetsche. In terms of units, this would mean over 14m cars sold.

Zetche added: "It’s important to note that we are still below pre-crisis level of 15.5m units. We need political partners who continue to stand by the principles of free trade and are determined to safeguard the positive momentum of our industry. Everyone at ACEA is determined to accelerate it."

While 2016 registrations are unlikely to reach pre-recession levels, the year has so far seen some months get close. In March, for example the 1.7m vehicles sold in the EU were described as being ‘close’ to 2007’s figure.