MILAN -- Italy's new-car sales rose 6.7 percent to 156,851 in October, according to the country's Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.
Demand rebounded from the slump in the same month last year when automakers were hit by supply disruptions to meet tougher WLTP emissions standards introduced the month before.
The rise was the second consecutive monthly increase after September registrations rose 14 percent.
Demand was also boosted by sales to long-term rental companies, which jumped 30 percent, according to market researcher Dataforce.
Self-registrations by dealers also rose by 30 percent, while those by automakers increased by 97 percent. Private demand fell 1 percent, while business sales dropped 5.2 percent and sales to short-term rental companies fell 11 percent.
Sales of diesel vehicles dropped 13 percent for a market share of 35.8 percent. The diesel share in October was the lowest since May 2001, according to industry association ANFIA.
Sales of gasoline-powered cars rose 18 percent, giving them a 45.9 market share.
Sales of full-electric vehicles rose 59 percent to 939, giving them a 0.6 percent market share. This was down from 0.9 percent in the previous month.
Plug-in hybrid registrations also slowed. In October, they rose 48 percent to 845 vehicles, giving them a 0.5 percent market share, half the amount they achieved in September. Full hybrid-vehicles saw their share increase to 7.4 percent from 5.5 percent.
The market share for cars powered by liquefied petroleum gas declined to 6.8 percent from 7.1 percent last year, while sales of vehicles powered by compressed natural gas jumped 284 percent to 4,575, and their share increased to 2.9 percent from 0.8 percent.
Winners and losers
Fiat Chrysler Automobile's group sales fell 2.2 percent in October as demand for the market leader's core Fiat brand declined 4.7 percent. Jeep gained 0.8 percent, Alfa Romeo was down 0.8 percent and Lancia increased sales by 8.2 percent. Maserati registrations fell by 34 percent.
- Download file here for Italy sales in October.
Fiat's Panda minicar remained the top market seller, despite a 13 percent decline to 10,910 units.
Sales of PSA Group's Peugeot and Citroen brand sales grew by 9.2 and 9.4 percent, respectively, while Opel, which is replaced its Corsa best-seller with a new generation, suffered a 26 percent decline. The DS brand increased 157 percent.
Volkswagen Group sales jumped 34 percent, boosted by a 37 percent increase at core brand VW. Both the T-Cross and T-Roc small crossovers helped lift demand.
Audi registrations rose 25 percent, while Porsche sales jumped 453 percent. The sports car's registrations were low in October 2018 due to the lack of models homologated to meet tougher WLTP emissions standards that went into effect on Sept. 1, 2018.
Seat sales were up 61 percent, while Skoda suffered an 8 percent decline.
The VW group leveraged the success of its range of CNG-powered models. The Golf was the most popular model with 1,357 sales, representing more than half than the 2,484 Golfs sold in Italy last month.
Renault Group's Dacia brand posted a 34 percent jump, while Renault brand saw its sales grow 11 percent.
Ford deliveries were up 1.6 percent.
Asian brands had mixed results as Kia gained 9.9 percent, and Hyundai increased 3 percent.
Toyota rose 7.9 percent, while Nissan declined 5.3 percent.
BMW brand sales were up 10 percent, while sales at rival Mercedes-Benz declined by 4.2 percent.
Through October, sales in Italy are down 0.9 percent to 1.62 million.