Commercial Italian vehicle up 6.6 % on the year

Italian commercial vehicle sales in May rose 6.6% year on year to 17,589 units, the fourth consecutive monthly gain after 11 months of falls, foreign automakers association UNRAE said Tuesday.

Commercial vehicle sales in January-May rose to 79,043 units, up 6.5% on the year. UNRAE classes vehicles weighing up to 35 mt as commercial.

The association forecasts commercial vehicle sales to fall 7.6% to 168,000 units this year. The forecast reflects a bleak Italian economic outlook, with the European Commission having downgraded Italy’s growth forecast in recent months to 0.1% from 0.2%, and estimating that the debt-to-GDP ratio will hit a record 133.7% this year.

Italian car sales fell 1.2% in May, to 197,307 vehicles, according to transport ministry data released earlier this month. Car sales dropped 3.8% in the first five months of the year to 910,093 units. UNRAE revised its forecast for this year lower to 1.85 million from 1.89 million, in a statement released in April.

UNRAE is made up of 43 foreign car makers which sell 60 different brands in Italy.

— Anthony Poole