MILAN -- New-car registrations in Italy increased by 43 percent in May to 142,730 over the same month in 2020, according to data from the country's ministry of infrastructure and transport, as lockdowns and travel restrictions imposed in March to fight coronavirus were gradually lifted.
Among volume brands, the strongest gains were posted by Toyota/Lexus, up 92 percent; Lancia, up 89 percent; and Fiat, up 70 percent.
There were 99,842 sales in May, according to the ministry. Industry association ANFIA said that figure was still 28 percent below the pre-pandemic level of May 2019.
Market research company Dataforce said sales to private customers declined 19 percent in May from the same month in 2019; sales to companies were down 22 percent and those to long-term rental companies declined by 23 percent. Sales to short-term rental companies dropped by 51 percent from the 2019 level, despite a more optimistic outlook for the tourism season.
Self-registrations by automakers and dealers dropped 46 percent from the 2019 level.
Dataforce did not provide a comparison to figures from May 2020.
Sales through May this year were 735,125, an increase of 63 percent from the same period in 2020. Dataforce forecasts the market will post 7.7 percent growth in 2021 to 1.49 million sales.