Cars: the market is in the red, sales down 3.7% in March

Cars: the market is in the red, sales down 3.7% in March

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TURIN – Between the slowdown in sales and the wait for i new car incentiveswhich will not arrive before the beginning of May, the car market in Italy is in the red. And it’s the first time after nineteen consecutive months. We haven’t seen a negative sign since August 2022. In March, 162,083 cars were registered in Italy with a decrease of 3.7% compared to March 2023. A contraction that interrupts a series of monthly increases, “a bad sign because in order for the Italian car market to return to pre-crisis levels, i.e. those of 2019 before the pandemic, it still has to fill a very significant gap”, underline the Study Center Promoter of Bologna.

Registrations in the first quarter of the year in fact there were 451,261 with a growth of 5.7% on the first quarter of 2023, but with a drop of 16.1% on the same period of 2019. The automotive sector’s expectations were not for an interruption of the recovery underway since August 2022. The March data is instead a cold shower. Added to this is the fact that the monthly economic survey for March conducted by the Centro Studi Promotor shows that 62% of the dealers interviewed report a low level of order acquisition, that for 60% the influx of visitors to the showrooms was also low and that 64% expect stability at the low levels of March for the coming months. “To overcome the feared slowdown in March, we hoped for a timely introduction of the incentives announced for too long by the government and apparently not yet ready for launch. Among other things, the wait for incentives contributed to the cooling of demand. Many operators now also have serious doubts about the possibility that the incentives can bring significant results”, he underlines the president of the study center Gian Primo Quagliano.

The allocations dedicated to electric cars and their surroundings have been systematically snubbed by motorists, while those dedicated to cars with traditional fuel systems, but with emissions not exceeding 135 grams of Co2 per kilometre, have always been burned in a few days. “The allocations for this type of car were generally decidedly modest, which was certainly not positive considering that their impact on the environment would have been significant, contributing to the scrapping of many old, polluting and unsafe cars which instead remain in circulation and are to feed a second-hand market hypertrophic and growing even in first quarter of this 2024 by 9.4%”, says Quagliano.

In some cutting-edge countries, such as Great Britainfor the spread of the electric car, it is starting to be argued that to accelerate the transition the use of incentives is an outdated tool and that structural measures are now needed such as the elimination of VAT, 22%, on the electric car, and for Italy, underlines Quagliano, “also aligns the tax legislation on company cars with the European standard which provides for VAT and fully deductible operating costs for company cars”. Italy continues to be at the rear of the list for diffusion of the electric car in the European Union. “Structural interventions are necessary – says Quagliano”.

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