economy

Automotive production in Portugal increased close to 70% in 2018

Assemblyline robots weld the new 2005 Ford Mustang at the AutoAlliance International plant in Flat Rock, Mich., Monday, Sept. 27, 2004. The new car, built at the auto plant that Ford co-owns with Mazda Motor Corp., is scheduled to reach showrooms next month. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
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Automotive production in Portugal increased by 68% in 2018 compared to the previous year, to a total of 294,000 vehicles, accentuating the upward trend started in 2017, the Automobile Association of Portugal (ACAP) announced today.

Of the total number of vehicles produced in Portugal, 97% is for export, according to ACAP’s annual balance sheet, which highlights the fact that this number surpassed the units sold in the national market (273,252).

The main destination countries are Germany (21.4%), followed by France (15.4%), Italy (12.2%) and the United Kingdom (10.7%), but ACAP points out that China has increasing its importance, representing already 2.7% of the total Portuguese car exports.

In terms of turnover, car production amounted to € 13.4 billion, according to figures released.

By 2017, car production in Portugal had already increased by 22.7% over the previous year, to a total of 175,544 vehicles, interrupting the downward trend of the previous two years.

In Portugal, the automotive market had a slight increase of 2.6% in the whole of 2018 (to 273,252) compared to the year 2017.

This percentage is the confirmation that, after the recovery period of the crisis, the national market is stabilizing to its normal values,” said ACAP Secretary General Hélder Pedro.

Passenger cars increased by 2.8% to 228,327 and light commercial vehicles rose 2.0% to 39,282, while heavy-duty vehicle sales declined 1.6% to 5,643 units.

According to ACAP data, in 2018 at the passenger car level, there was a “significant” decrease in the weight of diesel vehicles (from 61% to 53%), which was offset by the rise in petrol from 34% to 39%) and in “other energies”, from 4.7% to 7.4%.

ACAP highlights, by the way, the “strong growth” in sales of alternative energy vehicles, with 148% growth in electric vehicles (4,073 units sold) and 56% in plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Electric vehicles currently account for 1.8% of the total market.

Considering only the total sales of vehicles powered by alternative energy in 2018, almost half (43%) is made up of conventional electric hybrids, with Portugal ranking fourth in the European ranking of ACEA in terms of sales of this type of vehicles, after the Netherlands, Sweden and Austria.

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