More than 30% of the Italian Car Dealers at Risk image

Almost 30% of the 2, 250 Italian car dealerships risk closing their doors by the end of 2012.

Italian car dealerships employ around 1.2 million people and make up for 40% of the total amount of jobs in the Italian auto sector. Auto sales saw a decline of 20.9% in the first quarter and Fiat postpones new model launches due to the European slump in the domestic car market.

“At this point, and with the negative outlook for the next three years, a new approach by car dealerships is no longer something that can be postponed,” Filippo Pavan Bernacchi said in an issued statement.

A recent survey released by research group Quintegia shows that the most wanted automaker among Italian car dealers is Volkswagen, accounting for 19% of the survey, followed by Hyundai with 13% and Ford with 12%. Volvo remains the most popular out of 34 brands surveyed, followed by Toyota’s Lexus and GM’s Chevrolet.

Until 2017 the total number of dealerships is expected to fall to 1,500, less then half of the 3,450 delaers opened in 2002. Federauto, the representative of Italian car dealers, has already sent a letter to all automakers operating in Italy, to radical re-think their business.