Fast Market Research recommends "Italy Autos Report Q4 2012" from Business Monitor International, now available
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/07/2012 -- Following four consecutive years of contraction in the new vehicle sales market, new vehicle demand in Italy is showing no signs of recovery. Passenger car sales declined by more than 20% year-on-year (y-oy) in the first seven months of 2012, while commercial vehicle sales fell by 37% y-o-y during the first six months. We believe consumer and business sentiment will remain subdued over the course of the year and forecast a 15% contraction in the passenger segment and a 10.6% contraction in the commercial vehicle segment in 2012. BMI believes Italian GDP will contract 2.3% in 2012. Vehicle sales will remain subdued and we do not expect vehicle sales to return to their 2007 peak by the end of our 2016 forecast period.
Thanks to signs of improving competitiveness in the Italian labour market over the last six months, there is a degree of muted optimism in the production segment. Fiat abandoned national collective bargaining on January 1 2012, while Mario Monti's government has agreed to plans making it easier for firms to fire employees and tackle the segmented labour market. We believe that, while these developments are steps in the right direction, more needs to be done for Italy to regain industrial competitiveness.
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We see these developments posing potential upside risks to our cautious outlook for total vehicle production to reach approximately 878,500 units in 2016, but we are holding on to this forecast until Fiat unveils concrete production and investment plans for Italy.
Fiat has revealed it is looking to increase Maserati sales as much as 10-fold (to 50,000 cars a year by 2015) in a move which will not only see the luxury vehicle division playing a bigger role in the company's turnaround plan, but will also address some of the production issues in Italy. To a large extent, these expansions are aimed at tapping into growing global demand for luxury SUVs. In addition to the US, these vehicles are popular in key emerging markets such as China and Russia, where improved income levels have prompted vehicle owners to upgrade to luxury SUVs.
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