New car sales in Italy have suffered a 14 month decline but hopes are high that the newly introduced car scrappage scheme could halt this downward trend.
Italy’s association of foreign automakers (UNRAE) believes that March new car sales could be close to the 214,332 level of March 2008.
“We are cautiously optimistic that February’s growth in customer orders could lift vehicle registrations in March,” said Gianni Filipponi, UNRAE’s secretary general.
In January new car sales suffered a 32.6 percent fall but February showed a less painful 24.4 percent drop. However this was still a 28.5 percent overall drop in sales for the first two months of 2009.
The Italian Government introduced the car scrappage scheme, which offers customers between 1,500 and 5,000 Euros if they swap a car at least 10 years old for a new, low emissions model, on February 11th.
Customer orders grew 4 percent in February to about 220,000 according to carmakers operating in Italy.
In Germany, a scrapping incentive of 2,500 Euros approved in mid January boosted February sales by 21.5 percent to 277,740 units, ending six months of declining sales.