Falling sales. Free fall? Almost. This is the photograph of the Italian car market, with data that at the moment black on white what is the situation during the first phase of faint fear from Coronavirus . The outcome is worrying, as it indicates an 8.8% fall in February, but in all likelihood the month of March will be much worse.
According to what Emerged data from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, 162,793 cars were sold in February, which means a fall of almost 9 percentage points January is already complex (-5.9%). Sales of company cars fell vertically, private cars were declining, while purchases by long-term rental companies were on the rise. But now the picture of the situation will change heavily.
Coronavirus will weigh on March
The month of March will be the one started and finished under the banner of Coronavirus. In fact, the DPCM on 9 March extended nationally a containment measure of the epidemic that already blocked much of northern Italy, but the creation of the orange zone extended to the whole country can only block, almost completely, the sale of cars. People are now barricaded in their homes, there’s no freedom of movement on the territory , we move only because of health and work needs, and thought is more about worries about the future than about investment dreams about a new car.
The projection on March is simple to sketch: in the provinces of Lodi and Cremona, in fact, the fall in sales in February is 35% and 23% respectively, which means that the national share for the month of March will exceed -50% abundantly. In part it will be a recoverable loss, in part it is postponed sales as a result of an economic crisis that is shaping up to be severe. Meanwhile FCA closes factories , the Government thinks of a more radical “lock down” and there is nothing to suggest that the situation can be resolved in the short term (the deadline of 3 April remains more a wish than a certainty).
The lobbies, you know, will be able to do a lot in this regard and the car industry is often very shrewd in finding space in these circumstances thanks to the strong inducement that moves. Incentives and facilitations are therefore expected to stimulate a market that, before others (and perhaps more than others) will remain deeply scarred by this “black swan” flown to Italy directly from Wuhan.