The registration of new cars could fall this year to a fresh low of 50,000 if the average monthly sales of 4,000 units in the first half are replicated in the second semester, according to Mihai Cune, business manager at Autovit.ro, the online classified ads platform for cars.
Cune said that 80 percent of the new car sales have been generated by companies, while individual buyers held back. He added the slump in sales was registered because of the low purchasing power of Romanians and the delayed start of the Rabla program – the cash for clunkers program in which owners of old vehicles receive a voucher to buy a new vehicles when turning in their car.
“Is it expects that the end of the year will not record such a weak performance, and could be reinvigorated by the Rabla program, which can generate 10 to 15 percent of new car sales, although it was rolled out in June,” said Cune.
The registration of new cars slumped to a decade low of 66,436 units in 2012. The market could return to a similar level registered in 1995, if the sales don’t pick up this year, according to Autovit.ro representatives.
The market for second-hand cars may fall by 15 to 20 percent against the 2012 level of 175,000 units. The market will be influenced by the legal changes regarding the environmental stamp that will support the imports of used cars fitted with a Euro 5 engine.
Trading used cars fitted with Euro 3 and 4 engines, which have been historically the most traded vehicles, have almost grinded to a halt because of new taxation system.
Autovit.ro is the biggest online classified ads platform for cars with a market share over 90 percent. The platform is owned by Polish Allegro Group, which is part South Africa’s Naspers, the media group that controls in Romania eMag and PayU.
It reported a turnover of EUR 1.6 million in 2012, which was a 45.6 percent increase from the previous year.