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Italy May 2020: Registrations bounce back to -49.4%, VW T-Roc up to record 2nd place

The VW T-Roc is up to a record 2nd place overall in Italy in May.

Having been hit by COVID-19 earlier and harder than most other European countries with some cities in quarantine as early as late February, Italy was able to ease its nationwide lockdown a little earlier as well: from May 4 onwards. As a result new car sales have decidedly bounced back up at -49.4% year-on-year to 100.597 units in May, a lot better than the ghastly 4.325 sales of April (-97.5%) and 28.597 of March (-85.4%). It is interesting to note that Italy is faring a lot better than Spain in May (-72.7%) even though both market stalled in April and reopened at the same date, and more logically Italy also does slightly better than France in May -50.3% which suffered slightly less in April and reopened later (May 11). After 5 tumultuous months, the Italian new car market is now down -50.2% over the same period in 2019 to just 454.829 units. We have set our 2020 forecast for Italy to 1.27m units (-34%), which, if confirmed, would be the the lowest annual tally in over 40 years: since 1978 (1.1m)

Looking at distribution channels, private sales behave best this month at -35.2% year-on-year to 68.126 units and a whopping 67.7% share vs. 52.9% a year ago. Rental sales are off -69.2% to 19.248 and 19.1% share vs. 31.4% in May 2019, with short term rentals logically annihilated again given the absence of international and local tourism at -95.8% to a meagre 1.073 units and 1.1% share vs. 12.8% a year ago. Long term leases match the market at -49.7% to 16.852 and 16.8% share and business deliveries skid -57.5% to 13.223 and 13.1% share vs. 15.7%. Year-to-date, private sales also do best at -48.6% to 265.701 and 58.4% share vs. 56.5% in 2019, rental sales dive -52.4% to 121.615 and 26.7% share vs. 28%, with short term rentals off -63.2% to 38.489 and leases down -43.9% to 75.390. Business sales sink -52.4% to 67.513 and 14.8% share vs. 15.5%. In May, petrol sales fall -52.1% to 41.466, diesel is off -56.4% to 36.309 but HEV is up 12% to 11.442 and 11.4% share vs. 5.1%, EV gains 54.9% to 1.816 and 1.8% share vs. 0.6% and PHEV soars 145% to 1.176 and 1.2% share vs. 0.2%. YTD, petrol is down -49.7%, diesel down -59.5%, HEV up 0.2% to double its share to 10.2%, EV up 119.1% to 1.7% share from 0.4% and PHEV up 97.5% to 0.9% of the market.

In the brands ranking, homegrown leader Fiat (-60%) returns to the level of market share it held towards the end of 2019 at 14% after fluctuating wildly so far in 2020 from 17.1% in February to 9.9% in March and 22.6% in April. Volkswagen (-52.8%) is back up 7 spots on April to return to the 2nd spot it holds YTD while Ford (-42.3%) is up 4 to land on the podium and Peugeot (-39%) is down two on last month to #4 but scores the best hold in the Top 10. Citroen (-44.6%) and Jeep (-45.5%) also both outpace the market in the remainder of the Top 10, Dacia (-49.4%) exactly matches it but Opel (-62.7%), Renault (-52.2%) and Toyota (-51.8%) aren’t that lucky. Further down, Ferrari (+47.6%) roars back to life while DR Motor (-0.5%), Volvo (-12.8%), Land Rover (-16%), Suzuki (-17.7%), DS (-18.9%) and Subaru (-20.6%) brilliantly contain their losses.

Model-wise, the Fiat Panda (-52.8%) easily holds onto the top spot at 6.4% share, over 2.5 times that of its direct follower the VW T-Roc (-37.8%), rallying back up 31 spots on April to slice its ranking record in two at #2, eclipsing the #4 it hit in September 2018 and January 2019. The Lancia Ypsilon (-60%) is up 9 to return to the podium at #3, cementing its 2nd spot YTD while the Jeep Compass (-21.3%) is down one to #4 and the Fiat 500X (-57.6%) stays at #5. The Dacia Duster (-48.9%) is up 20 to #6, the Renault Captur (-17.6%) scores the best hold in the Top 30 and gains 22 spots on April to #8 and the Renault Clio (-67%) is up 27 to #9 despite a ghastly year-on-year fall. The Range Rover Evoque (+22.8%), BMW X3 (+17.9%), Opel Corsa (-21.6%), Suzuki Ignis (-21.6%), Audi Q3 (-24.2%), Peugeot 2008 (-26.6%), VW T-Cross (-29.9%), Ford Fiesta (-35.8%), Suzuki Swift (#31) and Volvo XC40 (#35) also shine. The Ford Puma (#18) remains the most popular recent launch and confirms it is the #1 hybrid vehicle in the country at 1.200 sales in May and 5.040 so far this year.

Previous month: Italy April 2020: Coronavirus freezes market down -97.5% to smallest April volume since 1948, Renault Zoe #2

One year ago: Italy May 2019: Dacia (+42.4%) shines again, Fiat 500 (+57.8%) on podium in market down -1.5%

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

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