TURIN, Italy -- Italian car sales will show a dip in May, continuing April's downward trend after incentives to drive shoppers to the showrooms expired, a source at industry body Unrae said on Tuesday.
A government scheme offering incentives for people swapping old polluting cars for new eco-friendly ones ended March 31. Industry Minister Antonio Marzano has said he is in favour of reintroducing them but it depends on Italy's finances.
"In May, the new car sales could be around 180,000 down from 208,000 vehicles sold this time last year," the source said, referring to data due to be published on June 5.
The numbers chimed with an estimate given by Fiat executive Gianni Coda last week.
"Considering seasonal effects in the first quarter, our forecast for the full-year 2003 is for around 2.05-2.1 million registrations," the source added.
Industry body Centro Studi Promotor sees the Italian market in 2002 ratcheting up around two million registrations compared with 2.28 million in 2002 and 2.47 million in 2001.
Italian car sales fell 5.8 percent year-on-year in April with Fiat's share of its key home market drooping 12.6 percent.