New car sales drop 12.3 percent in October in Italy image

Italy reported a monthly drop in new-car sales in October as deliveries fell 12.3 percent, similar to declines in France and Spain.

Vehicle sales in Italy fell to 116,875 compared with the same month a year ago, Italy’s Transport Ministry announced. The figure was however lower than the massive 25.7 percent drop reported in September.

Fiat, Italy’s largest automaker, saw its market share in the country fall slightly to 29.1 percent in October, down from 30.2 percent in September, according to Reuters’s calculations based on Ministry figures. 2012 is likely to get even worse for the Italian market than 2011, when Italian car sales fell 10.8 percent to 1.74 million cars, dropping for the fourth straight year.

Among Europe’s largest car markets, only Germany reported a gain, albeit a small one. Car sales in Europe’s largest market increased by 0.5 percent, according to figures published by the VDIK importers association. France reported a monthly drop of 7.8 percent, while new car sales in Spain declined 21.7 percent as increasing economic problems in the euro-zone countries continue to keep customers away from showrooms.