MILAN — New-car sales in Italy fell 98 percent in April, with dealer showrooms closed under coronavirus lockdown restrictions, according to figures from the Italian transport ministry.
There were 4,279 vehicles registered in the month, compared with 174,924 in April 2019.
Sales in March were already down by 85 percent to 28,326 as dealerships were closed before the middle of the month.
The lockdown is being gradually lifted in Italy, and dealerships were permitted to fully reopen starting on Monday. Dealerships have already reopened in Germany, while showrooms remain closed in the UK, France and Spain, Europe’s other largest auto markets.
With showrooms closed, nearly all buyers who had ordered cars were unable to take delivery in April.
All brands tracked by the transport ministry lost more than 90 percent of sales for the month, with the exception of Tesla, whose volume fell down 50 percent. Tesla had arranged for off-site deliveries and the company promotes a digital sales platform. With 104 registrations, Tesla saw its market share rise to 2.4 percent from just 0.12 percent in 2019.
The biggest loser was Smart, which registered just one car for the month, compared with 3,117 in April 2019.
Among top-selling brands, Fiat lost 97 percent of sales for the month, with just 969 registrations. Fiat's market share rebounded to 23 percent in April from an all-time low of 10 percent in March. The brand was helped by sales in non-retail channels, including sales to dealerships, business-to-business sales, and short- and long-term rentals, according to market research company Dataforce.
Volkswagen brand sales were down by 99 percent, with only 138 vehicles delivered for the month compared with more than 15,000 in April 2019.
Toyota sales were also down 99 percent, as were Dacia’s. Ford sales fell by 98 percent. Peugeot lost 97 percent, as did sibling brand Opel, and Citroen/DS sales fell by 96 percent. Renault sales fell by 95 percent.
Among Italian brands, Lancia sales fell 98 percent, and Jeep/Chrysler lost 94 percent.