Weak Private Consumption Set To Weigh On Sales
Italian passenger car sales in 2013 declined 7.1% year-on-year (y-o-y), to 1,303,534 units. BMI originally forecast an 8% decline over the year, as we expected the country's weak private consumption story to impact the sector and weigh on sales volumes. This played out to a slightly lower extent than we had envisaged due to low base effects and pent-up demand from a period of sustained declines in the market.
In December, sales in the passenger car segment upticked 1.4% y-o-y, to 88,705 units. During the second half of the year, the rate of decline in the market was more modest than that witnessed in the first half (see graph). We believe that this is mostly due to low base effects, however, and not a sign of a sustained resurgence in the market.
Indeed, 2013 marked the sixth consecutive year of declining car sales volumes in the country, and the market is now far below its 2007 peak of some 2.5mn units. BMI believes that this pent-up demand from delayed purchasing decisions helped temper the rate of decline in 2013.
|Market Weakness Persists|
|Italy Monthly Passenger Car Sales, units|