MILAN -- New-car sales in Italy fell 28 percent in December, according to data from the country's ministry of infrastructure and transport.
There were 86,679 registrations last month, according to the ministry, down from 119,620 in December 2020 which had one less selling day. The result marked the sixth consecutive monthly decline.
Industry association UNRAE said the December figure was 37 percent less than the pre-pandemic level of December 2020.
Through December, sales rose 5.5 percent in Italy to 1.457 million. This was 23 percent less than in 2019.
Market research company Dataforce forecasts that 2022 sales will reach 1.55 million units, a 6 percent growth over 202. This figure would still be 20 percent lower than that achieved in 2019.
Dataforce said all channels had sales declines in December. Demand from private customers fell 30 percent, while sales to companies dropped 12 percent and those to long-term rentals had a 20 percent fall. Sales to short-term rental companies dropped 4.3 percent.
Self-registrations by automakers and dealers were down 33 percent from the same month in 2020.
Both the COVID-19 pandemic and the microchip shortage contributed to the sales slump in the second half of 2021.