Fiat Panda restart confirms Italian market rebound and incentives would boost it further

Following the news that Fiat Chrysler (FCA) is to restart Fiat Panda production at its PomiglianoD’Arco plant just outside Naples on 16 June;

Calum MacRae, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“This is a very welcome sign for the Italian vehicle market. The Fiat Panda has been the number one seller in the market for the past eight years, selling just over 138,000 units in 2019.

“FCA has stated previously that Panda production wouldn’t restart until there was demand in the market and this is an indication that new car demand in Italy is returning.

“Italy’s been hit hard by COVID-19 and its vehicle market has suffered proportionately. Light vehicle sales fell by 84% in March and then 97% in April. In May sales somewhat improved with a 53% year-on-year decline.

“For the full year GlobalData forecasts a 29.5% decline in the Italian light vehicle market to 1.47 million.

“While the restarting of Panda production is a signal that the green shoots of recovery are on their way, FCA will also be mindful that a scrappage scheme is close to being agreed in Italy and it could be very good news for Panda sales.

“It has been proposed that Italy could see incentives of up to €4,000 being offered for the sale of new vehicles with an accompanying scrappage of any vehicle more than 10 years old.

“If such a scheme is passed by the Italian authorities it’s directly in the Panda’s market sweet spot and Panda inventory needs to be primed to take advantage.”

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