MILAN – Italian new car registrations jumped by 497 percent in March compared with the same month last year, when sales fell by 85 percent with the country under lockdown to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
There were 169,684 sales in March, according to data from the country's ministry of infrastructure and transport, a figure that was still 13 percent below the pre-pandemic level in March 2019. There were just 28,415 sales in March 2020.
Italy remains under partial lockdown, with most of the northern regions under strict travel limitations, but dealerships are open for business as they are classified as an essential activity.
All volume brands posted three-digit growth, with Mazda (+895 percent), Lancia (+891 percent), Seat (+857 percent) and Fiat (+842 percent) leading the pack.
According to market research company Dataforce, private demand was 1.4 percent lower in March 2021 than in 2019. A government program to subsidize new cars with CO2 emissions up to 135 grams per km has helped to stimulate private demand.