Registrations in Italy fell 1.2 percent in May to 197,307, according to the country’s Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.
The decline comes despite one more selling day in May than the same month of 2018.
According to market researcher Dataforce, demand from private customers declined 7.4 percent after growing 2.5 percent in April. Deliveries to short-term rental fleets jumped 24 percent and those to long-term rentals increased 20 percent, while sales to companies were down 3 percent. Self-registrations by dealers were up 1.3 percent, while self-registrations by automakers dropped 76 percent.
The 2019 Italian budget law introduced an additional purchase tax on vehicles emitting more than 160 g/km of carbon dioxide while granting incentives to cars emitting less than 70 g/km of CO2. The incentives kicked in April 8, triggering an increase in sales of battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Demand, though, was slower in May.
According to the importer association UNRAE, electric-car sales rose 92 percent to 1,167 units in May. Their share of the market rose to 0.6 percent from 0.3 percent in May 2018 but declined from 0.7 percent in April. Sales of plug-in hybrids rose 35 percent to 420 units for a 0.2 percent share, compared with 0.3 percent in April.
Sales of diesel-powered cars fell 20 percent to 82,810 and a 41.8 percent market share, down from 51.7 percent in May 2018 but up from a low of 40.5 percent in April. Gasoline car sales rose 23 percent to 86,487 with a 43.7 percent share, up from 35.2 percent the year before.
The market share for cars powered by liquefied petroleum gas rose to 6.6 percent from 6.2 percent, while the share for vehicles powered by compressed natural gas slipped to 1.9 percent from 2.8 percent.