MILAN — Registrations in Italy fell by 85 percent in March, as sales activity came to a halt during the month because of restrictions to counter the coronavirus outbreak.
New-car sales were 28,326, the transport ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
Registrations had fallen by 5.9 percent in January and 8.8 percent in February, when the virus was first detected in Italy.
On March 8, large parts of northern Italy including Milan were locked down to prevent the spread of the virus, halting most commercial activities, including car sales. The restrictions were extended to the rest of the country on March 10. The lockdown in Italy was initially imposed until April 3, but the government has said it will be extended until at least April 13. An official decree is expected by Thursday.
UNRAE's Michele Crisci called for more relief measures from the government, including expanding current subsidies for cars that emit no more than 70 grams of CO2 per kilometer to cars that emit 95 g/km. Incentives for company cars should be increased, he said.
Crisci said the requested measures should last until at least the middle of 2021 and would cost an estimated 3 billion euros.
Tesla increase sales
Tesla was the only brand that increased its sales in March. The EV maker's registrations grew by 58 percent to 424.
The Model 3 midsize sedan, which went on sale in Italy in the first quarter of 2019, was the most popular car in the midsize segment, with 358 registrations.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group saw sales slump at all its brands. Fiat sales plunged 91 percent and Lancia fell 92 percent. Alfa Romeo was down 89 percent and Jeep dropped by 86 percent. Maserati's registrations fell 77 percent.
Within Volkswagen Group, VW brand sales dropped by 87 percent. Seat was down 90 percent, while Skoda declined by 73 percent. Audi's registrations fell 81 percent and Porsche's volume was down 45 percent.
PSA Group's brands had a bad month. Peugeot was down 86 percent; Citroen sales dropped by 89 percent; Opel fell 93 percent.
Ford registrations were also down by 86 percent.
Among Asian brands, Hyundai suffered an 83 percent decline while Kia dropped by 59 percent. Toyota slumped 87 percent and Nissan fell 85 percent.
Among luxury automakers, Mercedes-Benz registrations were down 75 percent and BMW dropped by 89 percent.
Tesla Touchless delivery buy online the Amazon way seems to be working well for them in Italy one of the worst hit in Europe with the coronavirus.