If for Fiat, Italy’s austerity efforts brought losses and layoffs for thousands of employees, for the division manufacturing natural gas and propane fueled vehicles it was a benefit.
Sales of gas and propane fueled vehicles in Italy from the beginning of the year, increased 90% to 114,226 units, and currently accounts for 11.6% of the market, compared with 4.9% in the same period last year. At least this is good news for Fiat too, which has in Italy 90% of the market for natural gas cars and 47% of the propane auto market.
This is good news for the Italian auto market too, which saw a 20% decrease, the lowest level over the past 30 years. For Fiat, which doesn’t have an advanced EV strategy, the spread of natural gas and propane (liquefied petroleum gas) fueled vehicles is critical. Although these types of vehicles are of utmost importance for the future of cleaner cars, they failed to find widespread adoption due to their lack of futuristic design found at hybrids and EVs.
Now, the country’s shrinking economy and the increase in pump prices for traditional fuels, might change this situation, drawing consumers’ attention upon them. Automakers selling their vehicles in Europe have already increased the offerings of natural gas-powered cars in Italy.