TURIN -- New-car sales in Italy increased by 10 percent in January for the best monthly result since 2010, with Citroen, Dacia and Toyota among brands showing big gains.
Registrations rose to 171,556 last month on two extra selling days compared with January 2016, Italy's transport ministry said on Wednesday. It was the 32nd consecutive monthly growth for the market. Adjusted for selling days, sales fell nearly half a percent, analysts Evercore ISI said.
Sales to individual customers were up 4.7 percent and registrations to car rental companies grew at the market pace, while business sales jumped 33 percent, boosted by tax breaks.
"Aggressive" discounts offered by carmakers and dealers helped private and business demand," the Federauto dealer association president, Filippo Pavan Bernacchi, said.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' sales grew by 13 percent. Fiat brand's volume increased 15 percent and Alfa Romeo sales jumped 27 percent, while Jeep registrations were down 5.6 percent.
In the Volkswagen Group, sales at core VW brand increased by 11 percent, Skoda registrations grew 13 percent and Seat's volume was up 16 percent.
Among PSA Group's brands, Citroen sales jumped 26 percent and Peugeot's volume registered a 16 percent growth, while DS sales fell 22 percent. Overall the French group had a strong 19 percent gain. Renault brand sales were up a modest 0.9 percent, while registrations at low-cost brand Dacia jumped 24 percent.
Hyundai and Kia showed respectively a 1.6 percent and 6.5 percent growth. Toyota had a strong January with a 29 percent increase, while sales at rival Japanese brand Nissan were down 6.4 percent. Honda sales jumped 60 percent to 1,077 units and Suzuki's volume was up 35 percent, while sales at Mazda fell 15 percent and Mitsubishi lost 19 percent.
Ford and Opel sales both grew 13 percent.
• Download PDF, above right, for January sales by automaker and brand.
Among German premium brands, BMW registered a 12 percent increase, while Audi's volume fell 1.2 percent, dragging down the total growth of the Volkswagen Group to 8 percent.
January was a bad month for Daimler after Mercedes-Benz sales were down 10 percent and Smart registrations plunged 19 percent. Porsche sales gained 10 percent while Volvo's volume was down 16 percent.
In the JLR Group, Jaguar sales doubled while Land Rover registrations fell 27 percent. Maserati sales increased by 158 percent boosted by the Levante luxury SUV.
UNRAE, which represents foreign brands, forecasts that the market will grow by 7 percent to 1.96 million units this year.