JD Power has predicted western European car sales will reach 13.33 million units in 2009, just shy of the 13.56 million units sold in 2008.
The automotive forecaster said scrappage incentive schemes and significant discounts from manufacturers could see 2009 sales reach those seen last year.
Western European car sales were up 4.1 per cent in June to 1.37 million units, the first rise in 12 months.
A JD Power statement said: “While sales will be well down on 'normal' levels in 2009, the double incentive has had the effect of stabilizing the market and preventing what would otherwise have become a collapse.”
JD predicts that Germany will be western Europe’s strongest seller and it may reach four million units by the end of 2009 if the country’s scrappage scheme remains a success.
“A market of around 4 million units now looks to be a realistic possibility for 2009 with sales pushing up towards the record set in 1991 during reunification,” said the statement.