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Italy August 2020: Ford Puma surges to world record #4, Citroen, VW impress in stabilised market (-0.5%)

The Ford Puma breaks into the Italian Top 5 for the first time in August. Picture

Going against all European markets we have covered so far including France (-19.8%), Spain (-10.1%), Belgium (-24.1%), the Netherlands (-21.5%) and Austria (-29.9%) new car sales in Italy actually fare better in August than in July, stabilising to -0.5% year-on-year at 89.222 units. This is the year’s best result in Italy, better than January (-5.8%) and February (-8.8%) before the market imploded due to coronavirus lockdown at -85.4% in March and  -97.5% in April. The year-to-date volume is now down -38.9% or over 515.000 units to 815.365. Contrary to Spain or France, Italy hasn’t seen a second wave of Covid-19 infections so far, a positive influence on consumer morale. It’s also worth noting that even if this strong August result was achieved thanks to scrappage schemes and green car incentives included in the Legge Relancio plan implemented at the start of August, regulatory changes and a confusing freeze of the cash-back program doing the second half of the month made it less attractive to purchase a car. In any case, like in France or Spain, August summer holidays are the weakest time of the year for new car sales in Italy and its evolution shouldn’t be considered a mid-term trend. We have nevertheless amended our 2020 forecast for Italy sightly up from 1.37m (-29%) last month to 1.38m (-28%).

The Polo (+71.7%) helps Volkswagen up 17.2%.

Private sales are solely responsible for the stabilising of the Italian market in August at +27% year-on-year to 63.153 units and 70.8% share vs. 55.4% in August 2019, down -33.4% YTD to 502.500 and 61.6% share vs. 56.7% over the same period in 2019. Rental sales hold up well also at -2.4% to 13.977 and 15.7% share vs. 16%, including 1.723 short-term rentals (+9.8%) and 10.285 long-term leases (-2.4%). Rentals are off -43.6% YTD to 193.760 and 23.8% share vs. 25.8% in 2019. Company sales however totally implode in the absence of clear signal on government subsidies for the sector at -52.9% to 12.092 and 13.6% share vs. 28.8% a year ago, down -49% YTD to 119.105 and 14.6% share vs. 17.5% last year. Petrol is down -17.7% to 32.283 and 36.2% share vs. 43.7% in August 2019, diesel off -8.1% to 31.483 and 35.3% share vs. 38.2% and GPL down -33.1% to 6.047 and 6.8% vs. 10.1%. In contrast, HEV is up 227.2% to 13.419 and 15% share vs. 4.6% last year, PHEV surges 420.5% to 1.598 and 1.8% share vs. 0.3% and BEV soars 249.5% to 1.877 and 2.1% share vs. 0.6%. Year-to-date, petrol is down -41.6% to 337.865 and 41.4% share vs. 43.5%, diesel off -48.1% to 288.954 and 35.4% vs. 41.8%, GPL down -45.5% to 52.166 and 6.4% vs. 7.2%, HEV up 37.4% to 93.639 and 11.5% vs. 5.1%, PHEV up 196.2% to 9.539 and 1.2% vs. 0.2% and BEV up 108.3% to 13.444 and 1.6% vs. 0.5%.

Citroen scores the largest gain in the Top 10 at +25.1%. Picture

In the brands ranking, Fiat (-6%) trails its home market and sees its share thaw to 13.8%, lowest since last March. The rest of the Top 4 however is in outstanding shape: Volkswagen roars up 17.2% to 9.8% share, Ford gains 16.9% to 7.4% and Peugeot is up 8.7% to 5.9%. Citroen (+25.1%), Toyota (+12.4%) and Jeep (+8.4%) also stand out in the remainder of the Top 10, whereas Dacia (-35.6%), Opel (-17.9%) and Renault (-13%) suffer. Just outside the Top 10, Hyundai (+39%) hits its highest ranking in two years (since September 2018) at #11, while further down Mazda (+70.3%), Suzuki (+27.7%), DS (+39.1%), Honda (+36.1%), Volvo (+24.7%), Nissan (+24.6%), Mini (+23.2%), Skoda (+19.2%), Seat (+18.6%), Alfa Romeo (+17.2%), Porsche (+15.1%) and Kia (+11%) all also show strong resolve with double-digit gains. Among smaller brands holding 0.2% share or less, Tesla (+72.6%) and Mahindra (+30.6%) make themselves noticed. In the naughty corner: Smart (-93.1%), Aston Martin (-83.3%), DR Motor (-70.8%), Jaguar (-46.2%), Ferrari (-43.6%), Lamborghini (-36.4%), Subaru (-29.8%) and Maserati (-24%).

Mazda surges 70.3% and just launched the MX-30 EV. Picture

Model-wise, the Fiat Panda (-11.5%) can’t match the market equilibrium despite the arrival of a mild HEV topping its segment and accounting for a whopping 42% of the nameplate’s August volume. The Fiat 500X (+20.6%) hits its highest ranking at home at #2 for the first time in over two years: since July 2018, knocking the Lancia Ypsilon (-9.6%) down to #3. But the main event in the Italian Top 10 in August is a stunning breakthrough by the new Ford Puma lifting 11 spots on July to break into the Top 10 and the Top 5 for the first time at #4 with 2.5% share. This is the highest ranking the Puma has reached anywhere in the world so far: it previously reached #5 in Northern Ireland and Scotland in July. The Jeep Renegade (+4.9%) and Compass (+2.9%) make it four SUVs in the Top 6, while the VW Polo (+71.9%) and Renault Captur (+30.5%) also impress in the remainder of the Top 10. Further down, notice the Hyundai Kona (+119.9%), Opel Corsa (+86.8%), Opel Crossland X (+78.5%), Hyundai i10 (+69.1%), Toyota C-HR (+66.3%), Alfa Romeo Stelvio (+63.2%), Opel Grandland X (+53.1%), VW Golf (+49.4%) and Ford Focus (+46.2%) all posting fantastic gains.

Previous month: Italy July 2020: Market fall slows to -11.2%, VW above 10% share, Golf (+73.9%) at highest in 2.5 years

One year ago: Italy August 2019: Dacia (+30.5%) places Duster #2 and Sandero #3, Smart Fortwo up to #5 in market down -2.9%

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

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