Italy: September 2012 Car Market collapsed. Will Italy be a 1 million market?

The Italian car industry is performing below any expectation and the 25% drop posted in September 2012 was the highest of the year, in spite of the year-on-year comparison was with a September 2011 already negative over 2010.

Focus2move.com started to apply the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) index at this market, being aware that the use of self-registrations reduces the power of this indicator, used by all analysts in North America.

However, in September the Italian market SAAR dropped at 1.301.000 units, from 1.477.000 of August, showing that the trend is further deteriorating and that OEMs forecast for a stable market at current level are too optimistic.

The tough diet imposed at the country by new Prime Minister, Mr.Monti, is producing positive effects in terms of containing the public budget deficit and 2013 break-even task will be matched, in spite of higher interest rates paid. Monti’s taxation was primary on indirect taxes and on houses properties and now is focused on cutting the enormous public expense, were inefficiency had never been touched in the past. National GDP is projected down 2.5% this year, to be 0 in the 2013 and start growing in the 2014.

The fuel cost in Italy rose at European record and fuel consumptions declined 10% in the first 8 months of 2012, with bicycle market growing at 1.7 million units outpacing the car market for the first time in over 20 years. All Executives is Italy are expecting a car market recovery since 2014 and Marchionne is promising to invest in the Italian plants “as the market will recover”. Our question is: will the market recover? To find the answer we did a research that demonstrate as the market, in absence of external factors, like incentives, had no one reason to growth, but many reasons to decline.

Indeed, the car park in Italy is above 40 million, with a ratio of 1.5 passengers in average per car, the 2nd in the world, after USA. Reasons behind a so high density were not only the Italians love for cars, but the high development of roads versus others infrastructures. However, in the last decade the railways and airports networks have been really improved and alternative local mobility developed. Today, real mobility alternatives at driving exist, although not in all towns and more in the north than in the south of the country. Moreover, new generations love for cars is frustrated by low salaries and high unemployment.

So, all reasons behind the Italian passengers per car ration higher than France and Germany ratios are disappearing. In the next decade we should expect the alignment of Italian index at the 1.7, actually performed in France and Germany.

In this case, considering the Italian population stable at 60 million people, circulating cars should be 35 million, down 5 million from today. That’s why the car market could decrease at around 1 million level in the next years, before starting a recovery at the natural yearly level of 1.5 million (no more!).

Let give a look at September brands performance.

Fiat sold 24.312 units with a share of 22.0%, the best of the year. The third quarter share was at 21.9%, stable on the Q2. Year-to-date September sales were 227.731. As recently reported by focus2move in the World’s Top Brands, Fiat this year is the 10th global brand and the 2nd European. However the sales in Italy are becoming marginal (the 20%) and the center of Fiat success is South America. No surprise that Fiat announced the intention to further reduce operations in Italy.

Volkswagen was 2nd, selling 9.583 cars with a share of 8.7%, stable. The Golf surged in 4th position, pushed by a run out campaign unusual for this brand, similar to Ford value for money approach. Year-to-date sales were 90.140.

Ford was 3rd, with 7.287 sales and a share of 6.6%, down 0.8 points of share from previous month. In the Q3, share recovered at 7.0%, up 0.7 points from Q2. However, 2012 share for Ford will be the lower in more than 10 years.

Opel confirmed the 4th position with 6.663 sales and a share of 6.0%, down 0.2 points from the previous month with a Q3 share at 5.7%, stable on Q2 and Q1.

Peugeot confirmed the 5th position (7th year-to-date) gained last month, with 5.654 units and 5.1%, down 0.7 points from the previous month. Q3 share was 5.3%, up 0.6 from Q2 and 0.9 from Q1. The new 208 surged in 7th position, confirming Italians love new and stylish products.

Lancia was 6th with 5.449 units and a share of 4.9%. Lancia in July was the world’s 58th global car brand, one spot ahead of Porsche and Italy counted 75% of sales. Basically, Lancia is producing 1 model, the Ypsilon, and importing in Europe Chrysler products rebadged, a “new” strategy applied by the Marchionne’s boys. All Global Executives had already understood the relevance of giving to their brands a global relevance and all of them would invested over Chrysler brand in Europe rather creating misleading with Lancia. All Executives, but one.

In The table below, the Top 25 Brands ranked by year to date position:

Rank

Brand

Sep

Q3

Ytd Sep

Q1

Q2

Aug

Sep

Q3

Ytd Sep

1

Fiat

24.312

60.612

227.731

19,2%

21,9%

21,4%

22,0%

21,9%

20,9%

2

Volkswagen

9.583

23.801

90.140

8,5%

7,8%

9,1%

8,7%

8,6%

8,3%

3

Ford

7.287

19.329

78.807

8,2%

6,3%

7,4%

6,6%

7,0%

7,2%

4

Opel

6.663

15.750

61.863

5,6%

5,7%

6,2%

6,0%

5,7%

5,7%

5

Lancia

5.449

13.436

56.460

5,0%

5,5%

4,6%

4,9%

4,9%

5,2%

6

Citroen

4.431

12.159

54.905

5,2%

5,2%

3,5%

4,0%

4,4%

5,0%

7

Peugeot

5.654

14.653

52.125

4,4%

4,7%

5,8%

5,1%

5,3%

4,8%

8

Renault

3.938

10.012

46.032

4,1%

4,8%

3,5%

3,6%

3,6%

4,2%

9

Toyota

4.494

10.097

41.098

4,2%

3,4%

3,1%

4,1%

3,6%

3,8%

10

Audi

4.359

10.694

40.251

3,6%

3,7%

3,9%

4,0%

3,9%

3,7%

11

Nissan

4.243

10.436

38.780

3,8%

3,2%

3,7%

3,8%

3,8%

3,6%

12

Alfa Romeo

3.189

8.079

33.582

3,0%

3,2%

2,9%

2,9%

2,9%

3,1%

13

Hyundai

3.153

8.246

33.565

3,1%

3,1%

3,1%

2,9%

3,0%

3,1%

14

Bmw

3.825

8.738

31.945

2,9%

2,8%

2,9%

3,5%

3,2%

2,9%

15

Mercedes

3.380

7.594

31.468

2,9%

2,9%

2,5%

3,1%

2,7%

2,9%

16

Chevrolet

1.946

5.106

24.821

2,1%

2,7%

1,6%

1,8%

1,8%

2,3%

17

Dacia

1.626

4.678

20.536

1,9%

2,0%

2,2%

1,5%

1,7%

1,9%

18

Kia

2.140

6.027

20.222

1,7%

1,7%

2,6%

1,9%

2,2%

1,9%

19

Smart

1.775

4.557

17.124

1,4%

1,7%

1,5%

1,6%

1,6%

1,6%

20

Mini

1.271

3.274

13.591

1,2%

1,3%

1,0%

1,2%

1,2%

1,2%

21

Volvo

1.158

2.496

11.246

1,1%

1,1%

0,9%

1,0%

0,9%

1,0%

22

Suzuki

1.367

2.906

11.161

1,2%

0,8%

1,0%

1,2%

1,0%

1,0%

23

Land Rover

1.266

3.092

10.473

1,0%

0,8%

1,0%

1,1%

1,1%

1,0%

24

Seat

563

1.942

8.255

0,9%

0,7%

1,0%

0,5%

0,7%

0,8%

25

Skoda

685

1.756

8.120

0,8%

0,7%

0,7%

0,6%

0,6%

0,7%

Looking at the best-selling models, the podium was 100% Fiat, with Panda and Punto confirming their position and the 500 surged in 3rd, with 3.544 sales and a share of 3.2%.

Lancia Ypsilon was 4th, with 3.356 units and 3% of share followed by Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Golf, both down 2 spots from August. Peugeot 208 was 7th and now surged in the 22nd year-to-date ranking.

Behind, Nissan Micra was 17th, gaining 16 positions with Mercedes B Class was 22nd, up 5 spots and Volkswagen Up! was 23rd, up 22 spots.

Fiat launched in September the new 500 L, made in Serbia, obtaining 938 sales and 0.9% of share. The model was 25th in the monthly ranking.

In the table below, the best 40 selling models, ranked for year to date position:

Rank

Model

Sep

Q3

Ytd Sep

I Half

Aug

Sep

Q3

Ytd Sep

1

Fiat Panda

9.214

23.229

88.546

8,0%

8,8%

8,3%

8,4%

8,1%

2

Fiat Punto

6.999

16.024

64.768

6,0%

4,6%

6,3%

5,8%

5,9%

3

Lancia Ypsilon

3.356

8.373

35.890

3,4%

2,8%

3,0%

3,0%

3,3%

4

Fiat 500

3.544

9.395

34.497

3,1%

3,0%

3,2%

3,4%

3,2%

5

Ford Fiesta

3.319

8.741

32.523

2,9%

3,4%

3,0%

3,2%

3,0%

6

Citroen C3

1.687

4.988

28.144

2,8%

1,5%

1,5%

1,8%

2,6%

7

Volkswagen Golf

3.101

7.506

27.870

2,5%

3,1%

2,8%

2,7%

2,6%

8

Volkswagen Polo

2.109

5.943

24.777

2,3%

2,5%

1,9%

2,1%

2,3%

9

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

2.420

5.924

23.755

2,2%

1,9%

2,2%

2,1%

2,2%

10

Toyota Yaris

2.238

4.983

21.122

2,0%

1,4%

2,0%

1,8%

1,9%

11

Opel Corsa

2.518

5.345

20.086

1,8%

2,0%

2,3%

1,9%

1,8%

12

Nissan Qasquai

1.699

4.617

17.665

1,6%

1,6%

1,5%

1,7%

1,6%

13

Renault Clio

1.621

3.938

17.561

1,7%

1,4%

1,5%

1,4%

1,6%

14

Smart fortwo

1.775

4.557

17.136

1,5%

1,5%

1,6%

1,6%

1,6%

15

Ford Focus

1.224

3.141

16.150

1,6%

1,0%

1,1%

1,1%

1,5%

16

Opel Astra

1.378

3.453

15.469

1,5%

1,5%

1,2%

1,2%

1,4%

17

Ford C-Max

926

3.106

13.559

1,3%

1,3%

0,8%

1,1%

1,2%

18

Mini

660

2.663

13.006

1,3%

1,0%

0,6%

1,0%

1,2%

19

Volkswagen Tiguan

1.116

2.881

12.059

1,1%

1,0%

1,0%

1,0%

1,1%

20

Dacia Duster

847

2.330

12.047

1,2%

1,0%

0,8%

0,8%

1,1%

21

Fiat Freemont

909

3.232

11.469

1,0%

1,5%

0,8%

1,2%

1,1%

22

Peugeot 208

2.879

6.881

10.962

0,5%

2,6%

2,6%

2,5%

1,0%

23

Lancia Musa

1.155

2.814

10.738

1,0%

1,1%

1,0%

1,0%

1,0%

24

Hyundai Ix35

902

2.525

10.675

1,0%

1,0%

0,8%

0,9%

1,0%

25

Opel Meriva

779

2.066

9.728

0,9%

0,7%

0,7%

0,7%

0,9%

26

Nissan Juke

872

2.333

9.548

0,9%

0,9%

0,8%

0,8%

0,9%

27

Fiat Bravo

1.143

2.738

9.524

0,8%

0,8%

1,0%

1,0%

0,9%

28

Mercedes B Class

1.107

2.602

9.175

0,8%

0,9%

1,0%

0,9%

0,8%

29

Renault Megane

750

2.018

9.048

0,9%

0,8%

0,7%

0,7%

0,8%

30

Chevrolet Spark

886

2.166

9.000

0,8%

0,6%

0,8%

0,8%

0,8%

31

Alfa Romeo MI.TO

650

1.893

8.786

0,8%

0,8%

0,6%

0,7%

0,8%

32

Fiat Qubo

779

2.371

8.652

0,8%

0,9%

0,7%

0,9%

0,8%

33

Nissan Micra

1.331

2.608

8.501

0,7%

0,8%

1,2%

0,9%

0,8%

34

Lancia Delta

725

1.789

8.069

0,8%

0,6%

0,7%

0,6%

0,7%

35

Audi A4

891

2.187

8.040

0,7%

0,7%

0,8%

0,8%

0,7%

36

Citroen C4

480

1.872

8.037

0,8%

0,5%

0,4%

0,7%

0,7%

37

Volkswagen Passat

891

2.069

7.929

0,7%

0,6%

0,8%

0,7%

0,7%

38

Chevrolet Aveo

480

1.404

7.785

0,8%

0,5%

0,4%

0,5%

0,7%

39

Renault Scenic

480

1.463

7.735

0,8%

0,5%

0,4%

0,5%

0,7%

40

BMW 3 series

889

1.946

7.648

0,7%

0,7%

0,8%

0,7%

0,7%

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