2012 Italy’s New Car Sales Reached 30-Year Low image

This year new car registrations in Italy fell to the lowest level in more than 30 years.

According to the infrastructure and transport ministry, registrations in Italy, Europe’s third-biggest market, reached 1.4 million units, a decrease of 19.9% from 1.7 million vehicles sol in 2011. Last month, automakers sold 86,735 cars in Italy, a decrease of 22.5% compared with the same period last year.

“The car market is suffering from an overdose of taxes aimed at hitting, if not criminalizing, the acquisition, ownership and use of autos,” said Filippo Pavan Bernacchi, the president of Italy’s car dealers’ trade group Federauto.

Fiat, the country’s biggest automaker, saw its sales fall to the lowest level in 33 years, with only 415,000 units sold in 2012 and a market share of 29.2%, up 0.2% from 2011. For Italy, Spain and France 2012 was the lowest year of sales in years due to the sustained slump in the European auto market and the economic crisis. Analysts expect auto sales in 2013 to reach 1.33 million units.

“The new car market continues to decline – a trait which we anticipate will continue through the course of 2013,” Credit Suisse analyst David Arnold said on Wednesday.