Italian car market, the first quarter of 2022 is to be forgotten

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Galeotti were the incentives; indeed, their absence. The delay in the eco-bonuses, announced but not issued, contributed to the slowdown of the market in March, which closed at 119,497 registrations, equal to a drop of 29.7%. And equivalent to a gap of over 50,000 cars compared to March 2021. So, the first quarter of 2022 stops at 338,258 registered units, down by 24.4% and with 109,000 registrations less than in the first quarter of 2021. If yes refers to the last March preceding the pandemic, i.e. in March 2019, the decline is as much as 38.5% (and by 37.1% on January-March 2019).

“The announcements and the consequent expectation of incentives have in fact been paralyzing the market for months now and, if the Government does not urgently issue the implementing decree that makes them usable, there is a risk of aggravating and further prolonging the registration crisis” he warns in an official note Michele Crisci, President of UNRAE. Crisci also reiterates the need to extend delivery times for vehicles booked or already purchased: “the extension of delivery terms to 360 days is an indispensable measure to remedy the now endemic problems of international supply chains, aggravated by the conflict in Ukraine, which force car manufacturers to slow down production and delay deliveries. It is also necessary that the implementing decree – adds the President of UNRAE – does not exclude any of the interested parties from the purchase support, thus including in addition to natural persons also legal persons (companies and rental companies) and does not impose price caps. lower than the previous incentives, which had shown all their effectiveness “.

The causes that led to this situation, in addition to those reported by Crisci, are to be found in the aftermath of the pandemic – with the collapse of GDP in 2020 and only partial recovery in 2021 – in the crisis of microchips and other essential components in production. of cars, as well as in the war in Ukraine, with its psychological impact, the resurgence of inflation and the threat of a new stagflation (stagnation and inflation: this is a slowed or completely stopped growth, accompanied by a strong acceleration in prices to consumption). “To all this was then added a story that certainly was not needed, namely the fact that the Government has been announcing for months that it will adopt incentives to support the demand for cars, but today we are still in the announcement phase”, Gian Primo Quagliano, president of the Centro Studi Promotor, reiterates: “This fact constitutes an important brake on the demand for cars that would still exist despite all the elements we have mentioned. Those interested in buying a car, in fact, do not buy today because they are waiting to be able to take advantage of the incentives. Among other things, a similar mechanism is also operating on the tire market for which a purchase bonus has been announced but is not yet operational “.

Coming to the analysis of the market, it emerges that the private channel shows a heavy decline, equal to 29.7%, with a share that stops at 60.9%. In the 1st quarter, private individuals lost 25% of volumes, down to 63.1% (-1.4%). Auto-registrations (the so-called “zero-kilometer cars”), with -37.9% of cars, dropped to 8.8% in March and 9.5% in the cumulative. Long-term rental also recorded a loss of 20.3% in volumes, with a share in any case gradually growing and equal to 19.4% in the month and 18.3% in January-March. Short-term rental in March experienced the worst performance and, with almost half of registrations lost, it reached 4.4% representativeness in the month and 3% in the quarter. Companies with a decline of 16.9% and below the overall market increased their penetration to 6.5% in March and 6.1% in the cumulative.

Among the fuels, only LPG is growing, rising by 6.9% in volume and to 9.3% in share (8.9% in the 1st quarter). Volumes and share of electric cars are below tone, at 3.7% in March (3.3% in January-March) and registrations of plug-in hybrids, which maintain a share of 5% both on the month and on the cumulative one. Traditional engines, petrol and diesel, lost 37.6% and 39.2%, reaching 27.3% and 21.1% share (27% and 20.8% in the cumulative). Methane drops by 70% in volume, to a minimum of 1.1% in the month (1.2% in the cumulative). Hybrids confirm the first position among the preferences of motorists with a 32.5% share, albeit with volumes down by 14.8% (to 33.8% in the quarter), with “full” hybrids at 9.2% and the “mild” at 23.3%.

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