MILAN -- New car sales in Italy are expected to rise slightly in February after falling 14.5 percent in January as a new round of incentives on eco-friendly cars kicks in, auto sector sources said on Thursday.
One source said car registrations should climb about 6 percent year-on-year to 210,000 units, while another source said "sales will be up but it will only be a one-figure rise."
New car sales fell in January after buyers rushed to get a new set of wheels in December before an incentive program ended. The incentives were restarted in mid-January but had a limited impact on last month's figure.
When February sales figures are released on March 5, most eyes will be on Fiat's market share of its home market -- which accounts for about 40 percent of the Turin group's sales.
In December, Fiat's share hit an all-time low of 27.8 percent and should hit a new minimum after a flood at an engine-making factory dented production.
Earlier this month, a top Fiat executive was quoted as saying the flood would bash its Italian market share three or four percentage points lower to 26 percent or 27 percent in February with the squeeze continuing into March.
The sources said that orders for new cars should rise about 10 percent year-on-year in February.