New Fiat 500, Italy's economic rebound
New Fiat 500, Italy's economic rebound poised to boost minicar sales
Italy’s economic rebound and the arrival of the refreshed Fiat 500 will help pull minicar sales out of a slump that caused the segment to drop to a five-year low in 2014, analysts at IHS Automotive predict.
European minicar sales fell 32 percent to 1,125,160 million in 2014 compared with 2009, with Italy down 50 percent to 244,642 during the period, IHS figures show.
However, the analyst firm predicts that Europe’s overall minicar sales will rise to about 1.2 million this year and 1.25 million next year because the volume in Italy -- Europe’s No. 1 market for the entry-level models -- is poised to increase to 260,000 this year and 300,000 in 2016.
That is still way below the roughly 500,000 minicars, also known as A-segment cars, that were sold in Italy in 2009, when a government-subsidized car-scrapping program artificially inflated demand. Similar schemes, which were used across Europe to boost sales during the height of the global financial crisis, pushed total minicar volume to 1.65 million five years ago.
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