MILAN -- Sales of new vehicles in Italy declined 3.1 percent in August to 88,939 units, according to the country’s Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.
The decline was smaller than in France, where sales fell 14 percent, and Spain, where they plummeted 31 percent — despite a similarly tough year-over-year comparison.
Registrations rose 10 percent in Italy in August 2018, when carmakers were pushing sales of vehicles not homologated to meet tougher emissions standards before the Worldwide Harmonized Light-Vehicle Test Procedure went into effect Sept. 1, 2018.
Last August, sales were higher than in the same month of both 2017 (83,363) and 2016 (72,006).
This past August had one less selling day than the same month of 2018.
According to market researcher Dataforce, self-registrations of vehicles by dealers and carmakers helped sustain demand. All together, they jumped 25 percent to 21,741 units, with those by carmakers more than doubling to 6,392.
Demand from private customers declined 5.5 percent, while deliveries to short-term rental fleets slipped 0.3 percent and those to long-term rentals dropped 24 percent. Sales to companies declined 25 percent.
Sales of diesel-powered cars fell 35 percent to 34,053 with a 38.1 percent market share, higher than the 37.2 percent of July but much lower than the 56.1 percent of August 2018. One year ago, the WLTP effect boosted diesel registrations.
Sales of gasoline cars jumped 45 percent to 39,123 and a 43.8 percent market share, compared with 29.1 percent in August 2018. The market share for cars powered by liquefied petroleum gas grew to just over 10 percent, up from 7.2 percent last year, while the share for vehicles powered by compressed natural gas increased to 2.5 percent from 1.7 percent.
Hybrids saw their share increase to 4.6 percent from 4.1 percent, while plug-in hybrids declined from to 0.3 percent from 0.4 percent. Battery electric vehicles tripled their share to 0.6 percent