Less than 80,000 new cars have been sold in the first 2009 trimester. It is very unlikely that the second trimester proves better. The total new car market will drop from 324,000 units in 2008 to 140,000 units by the end of the current year, Romanian Car Producers and Importers Association (APIA) estimates. The only beneficial aspects refer to the old car scheme and the increase in Dacia exports.
"APIA had an extremely negative forecast in the beginning of the year: it estimated that the new car market would return to its 2003 figures, meaning approximately 140,000 new cars sold. Unfortunately, the figures recorded at the middle of the current year make the scenario more plausible. We have little above 70,000 cars, with a total market of 79,000. The situation might have been worse without the Programme to renew the car park, a scheme that sold over 11,500 cars (around 16% of the market), APIA report shows.
The best year in the history of Romanian car was 2007, when 367,000 new cars were sold, while a decade ago it barely sold 100.000 cars / year. Several voices in the industry were seeing the car market in 2007 to soon reach 500,000 units per year, but the current situation excludes such forecasts.
The only hopes are hanging on the Programme to renew the car park by getting commercial cars, both by people and (especially) companies, and accepting leasing as a finance source. Another hope related to the crediting re-start, but this is down to the banks, APIA notes.
According to the association, despite the fact that most of the EU countries saw the car retail increasing in May, Romania continues to record drops: -4.6%.
The new cars retail dropped 55% in the first semester, under 80,000 units. All volume makes recorded massive losses, except Hyundai, which saw positive figures.
The internal production concluded the first semester with a 5% increase - over 140,000 units: the demands from Central and West Europe led to over 120,000 Dacia cars being exported, a 56% increase. More than a half of the overseas demands were Sandero and a third - Logan MCV.