Car scrappage scheme fails to boost sales in July

Autor: Bogdan Alecu 28.07.2009

After a shy rebound in April as the programme was launched, car sales are continuing their downward trend in July, as well.

According to market players, July will be several percentage points below June, at a level of around 12,500-12,700 cars, with the lack of financing and imports of used cars as the main reasons for this.

"July is weaker than June. The lack of financing and imports of used cars are further harming the car market and there's also the impact of the summer holiday," said Nicolae Sorescu, manager of Radacini Motors, Opel and Chevrolet dealership.

His statement is supported by Alin Tapalaga, general manager of Porsche Inter Auto, who maintains that "at the best, July will hit June's level".

Despite the ongoing rise in used car imports, no fiscal steps have been taken about those individuals making profits from the sale of used cars from Western Europe on the Romanian market.

In mid-July, in the second stage of the scrappage programme, both light commercial vehicles and acquisitions in a leasing system were included.

"The commercial vehicle market is currently blocked and we're happy for every client. A good thing is that people have started entering showrooms and asking questions," Alin Tapalaga said.

Whereas in the case of cars inventories went down as a result of discount campaigns and the car scrappage scheme, the utility vehicle market was blocked by steeper declines. In the first half, car sales dropped by 50%, while light commercial vehicles fell by almost 70%, according to APIA statistical data.

Unlike in previous years, when clients' choices were based not only on price, but also on brand image, it is price that counts for clients at present.

In the first half, over 70% of car sales were operated through cash or credit, according to the statistical data provided by the Association of Automotive Manufacturers and Importers, but market players also say cash acquisitions hold a very high weight in this percentage.