Italy car orders drop 35 percent in the first ten days of September image

Car orders in Italy slumped 35 percent in the first 10 days of September compared with the same period last year.

Consumers were reluctant to enter showrooms because of the continued economic uncertainty, the president of the Italian foreign carmakers’ association UNRAE told Reuters.

“The de-motorization trend continues. I think we could see a fall of some 20 to 25 percent in sales in September,” Jacques Bousquet said on the sidelines of a conference. French and Italian car sales continued to decrease in August as countries in the south of Europe are affected by the euro zone debt crisis and its damaging effect on consumer demand.

However, in Spain sales rose slightly last month as consumers rushed to avoid the introduction of a sales tax that took efect on September 1. According to Bousquet, UNRAE expects car sales in Italy to reach 1.45 million vehicles this year, down from 1.75 million in 2011. “There is no reason at the moment to think that things will go that much better in 2013,” Bousquet said.

In August, sales in Italy dropped 20 percent to 56,447 units, a level not seen since 1964 and the ninth consecutive double-digit fall in the market. In the first eight months of the year, new-car orders have fallen 22 percent to 921,000.