Figures released today by ACEA - the European carmakers' association - put the 2001 West European car market at 14,833,735 units in 2001, 0.6% ahead of 2000. It is the second largest European market on record (the record was 1999). The gain confounds gloomier forecasts for 2001 at the beginning of last year, with car demand in the second half being stimulated by low interest rates and competitive market conditions across Europe.