MILAN -- An extra selling day and the hangover effects of the EU's new WLPT tests boosted Italy's new-car sales last month.
Registrations rose 13 percent in September to 142,136 units, according to the country's Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.
The main factor behind the increase was a favorable year-over-year comparison. Sales increased 5 percent in September 2018 because in the months before automakers discounted vehicles not homologated to meet tougher WLTP emissions standards that went into effect on Sept. 1, 2018.
Sales to business fleets helped to boost demand last month.
Sales to long-term rental companies rose 38 percent while registrations by companies grew 11 percent, according to market researcher Dataforce.
Demand from private customers rose 14 percent. Deliveries to short-term rental fleets slipped 4.6 percent.
Some automakers inflated their sales through self-registrations while dealers held back on the tactic. Self-registrations by automakers were up 79 percent to 2,034 while those by dealers declined by 2.3 percent to 21,221.