Fiat sees 10-20 percent fall in Italian car sales image

Italian new car sales are set to fall 10 to 20 percent in April as the end of government car buying incentives starts to bite, Fiat brand Chief Executive Lorenzo Sistino said on Tuesday.

Earlier this month Italian study group Promotor said it expected the Italian market to start contracting from April as the order backlog from scrappage incentives — which stopped at the end of 2009 — runs down.

“We are seeing a double-digit fall … (of) 10 to 20 percent, ” Sistino told reporters on the sidelines of the media launch of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta car.

The decline would be in line with other markets such as Germany which suffered a 26.5 percent year-one-year drop in March following the withdrawal of incentives.
In March Italian car sales were up 19.6 percent, benefiting from orders placed when incentives were still in place.