TURIN - Italy's new-car registrations rose 24.7 percent in April to 148,807 units, boosted by heavy discounting by automakers including market leader Fiat.
The April increase was driven by "massive promotional efforts from automakers and dealers that cannot be sustainable in the medium and long term," Massimo Nordio, chairman of UNRAE, which represents import brands, said in a release.
Fiat offered discounts up to 3,000 euros for owners to trade in their cars, forcing rivals to increase their discounting.
Sales likely were also boosted by the slow improvements in the economy and a general need to replace existing vehicles, market analysts IHS Automotive said.
IHS forecasts that the Italian passenger car market will grow by 5.5 percent to 1.45 million this year, with an even larger gain in 2016 that will continue until the end of the decade. Even so, registrations will remain well below levels before the Great Recession, it said.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' share of the Italian market stood at 29.12 percent in April, compared with 28.49 percent in March, according to calculations made by Reuters.
Reuters contributed to this report