Talking at the Frankfurt motor show, Ghosn said that the prediction from market analysts was backed by the car firm’s own analysis, which said that all three indicators of growth – a buoyant used car market, a rise in used car prices and a growing new car market – were in line.
“There are many indicators, all of them signalling the end of a period of decline,” said Ghosn. “We have entered the third phase of recovery, where we are seeing new car sales rise again. We expect to stay there, growing slightly at one to two per cent a year, for the next couple of years.”
The European car market fell a further seven per cent in the first six months of 2013, but is expected to bounce back to end the year down five per cent. From 2014, Ghosn says, the figures will rise.
“The worst is over. We are pretty confident the European slope has stopped going down – but also that it won’t rise significantly until consumer confidence is back,” said Ghosn. “Until the European governments show they will support growth rather than fight deficits, that situation is likely to remain.”