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Italy March 2020: Market collapses -85.4% to lowest monthly volume in 59 years, Kia up to #5, Mercedes #6

Some parts of Italy have been under quarantine since late February.

With a red zone established in eleven municipalities in the province of Lodi as early as 21 February, extended to a large part of Northern Italy including Milan on March 8 then to the entire nation on March 10, the Italian new car market collapses -85.4% year-on-year in March to just 28.597 registrations vs. 195.202 in March 2019. This is the lowest monthly new car sales volume in Italy since December 1960 (26.417) and the lowest March result since 1959 (23.415est) – the same year as France. Year-to-date sales are now down -35.2% to 349.534. With confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country reaching 105.792 including 12.428 deaths as of March 31, the most of any countries in the world according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the national lockdown, originally scheduled to end on April 3, has been extended to at least April 13, but won’t realistically be lifted before May. In that case, local manufacturers association UNRAE is now predicting at best 1.3 million sales for the FY2020 (-32%) – the lowest annual tally since 1978 (1.1m) – down from 1.5 million a month ago. In case restrictions continue for a longer period and sales remain close to zero until the end of August, UNRAE says the annual volume will only manage to edge past 1 million units, which would be the lowest since 1965 (886.297) at a time when Fiat held close to 74% market share…

Kia scores its first Top 10 and Top 5 finishes in Italy this month.

Private sales lose the least ground at a still ghastly -82.4% to 18.713 units and 65.4% share vs. 54.4% a year ago, rental sales drop -87.7% to 7.061 and 24.7% share vs. 29.4%, with short-term rental sales annihilated at -97.9% to 487 and leases down -79.8% to 6.135 while company sales are the hardest hit at -91.1% to 2.823 and 9.9% share vs. 16.2% in March 2019. Year-to-date, private sales are down -38.4% to 195.321 and 55.9% share vs. 58.7% over the same period in 2019, rental sales are down -26% to 100.794 and 28.8% share vs. 25.2% with short-term down -28% to 37.402 and leases down -22.3% to 57.020 and company sales sink -38.4% to 53.419 and 15.3% share vs. 16.1%. Petrol sales are down -87.4% to 10.161, diesel is down -88% to 10.566, GPL down -82.6% to 2.240, hybrid down -63.8% to 3.578, PHEV down -15.3% to 388 but EV is up 48.9% to 926 and 3.2% share vs. 0.3% in March 2019. Year-to-date, petrol is down -32.3% to 156.474, diesel down -49.2% to 120.394, GPL down -40.7% to 21.022 but electrified vehicles sales all remain in positive so far: Hybrid up 27.6% to 34.854, PHEV up 172.6% to 2.949 and EV up 366.3% to 5.400 and 1.5% share vs. 0.3% over the same period in 2019,

The A-Class scores its first Top 10 finish at #8, lifting Mercedes to a record #6.

In the brands ranking, Fiat (-91.2%) endures the steepest fall in the Top 13 and falls below 10% share of its home market for the first time in its history, its previous lowest being 13.1% in July 2019. Volkswagen (-86.8%), Ford (-85.7%) and Renault (-86.1%) complete a Top 4 entirely falling even faster than the market. In contrast Kia (-58.7%) resists much better and as a result soars 9 spots on last month to a record #5, scoring its first Top 10 and Top 5 finishes at the same time (previous best #11 in April 2018) while Mercedes (-74.7%) is up 7 to land at #6, also a record eclipsing its previous best of #7 established in June and July 2016. Suzuki (-57.4%) posts its first ever Top 10 finish at #10, Tesla (+57.6%) is the only brand in positive this month – if we exclude Aston Martin going from 1 to 2 sales – and shoots up to a record #22. Lamborghini (-8.3%), Porsche (-44.6%), Subaru (-47.6%), Mahindra (-48.3%), Land Rover (-62.9%) and Volvo (-68.9%) manage to somewhat contain their losses but Ssangyong (-93.8%), Smart (-93%), Opel (-92.5%), Lancia (-91.5%) and Seat (-89.9%) are shot.

The Peugeot 3008 breaks its ranking record again at #7.

Model-wise, the Fiat Panda (-91.4%) manages to clinch onto the pole position but falls to 4.2% share, its lowest since August 2018. The Renault Clio (-83.2%) edges up one spot on February to #2 while the Dacia Duster (-83.2%) is up 15 to climb back onto the podium for the third time in the past 8 months – and ever – after last August and December. The Jeep Renegade (-81.4%) is at its highest since last July at #4 and the VW T-Roc (-85.9%) is up 4 ranks on last month to round out the Top 5. The Peugeot 3008 (-81%) breaks its ranking record for the 2nd time in the past 3 months, lifting it to #7 vs. #10 last January while the Mercedes A-Class (-76.4%) posts its very first Top 10 finish, eclipsing its previous best of #13 hit last December. The Ford Puma is up another two spots on an already outstanding start to #14 overall. It gets knocked down from its Hybrid pedestal by the Suzuki Swift in March (up to a record #18) but remains the most popular hybrid in the country so far in 2020. The Kia Sportage (-54%) is back inside the Top 20 for the first time since August 2015 and the Tesla Model 3 (+54.3%) spectacularly breaks into the Italian Top 50 for the first time, landing directly at #25.

Previous month: Italy February 2020: Ford Puma #1 hybrid in market starting to feel coronavirus sting (-8.8%)

One year ago: Italy March 2019: Dacia Duster breaks into Top 5 in market down -9.7%

Full March 2020 Top 45 All-brands and Top 50 models below.

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