Market and production

The evolution of automotive industrial production among major European countries has had very different trends in recent decades. In Germany and Spain, 1.71 and 2.05 cars are produced respectively for each new registered car. In France and the United Kingdom, on the other hand, the ratio is 1 registered car and 0.81 and 0.64 produced respectively. In Italy the ratio is 0.39. Italy is the 6th largest producer of motor vehicles in the EU, after Germany, Spain, France, the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic. EU production was 16.8 million cars in 2016 (+2.8% on 2015), 23% of world car production.

View the interactive map for manufacturing plants in Europe

In terms of volumes of new cars registered each year, Italy is the fourth largest market within the EU after Germany the United Kingdom and France.

Since 2007 when sales were at a record high with around 2.5 million new cars sold the Italian car market has suffered a continuous decline in volumes, reaching 1.3 million registrations in 2013, at the same levels of 30 years before. Compared to 2007, the market contraction (-48%) was equal to about 1.2 million cars resulting in heavy repercussions on both manufacturing and employment. If we remember that 2014 was a pivotal year since it was the first year of growth after six consecutive downturns and that 2015 was considered an important first stage towards recovery - 2016 continued significantly in this direction with 1.82 million registrations while 2017 surpassed the symbolic threshold of 1.9 million cars sold (1.97 units, an increase of 7.9% in comparison with 2016).

In 2017 for every 100 new cars registered 12 had alternative fuel sources (compared to 10 in 2016) and for every 10,000 new cars registered 10 were electric (7.5 in 2016).

Alternative-fuelled cars accounted for 11.7% of the market and accounted for a 24% increase in volumes in 2016; the sector was made up of: 6.5% LPG-fuelled cars, 1.7% petrol-methane cars, 0.1% electric cars and 3.4% hybrid cars (including plug-ins). The volumes of alternative-fuelled cars make Italy the largest alternative-fuelled market in Europe and the second largest market after Norway in terms of market share. These achievements are the result of the development of gas engines and have enabled Italy to have a fleet of over 911,000 natural gas cars and 2.2 million LPG cars (2016 figures), as well as the largest distribution network in Europe.

Italy has become the third largest hybrid car market (excluding plug-ins) in Europe, with 63,000 registrations (+71%). Volumes of plug-in hybrid cars doubled in 2017.

1,967 electric cars were sold (+43%) of which only 14% were privately owned (280 units; +33%), while 86% are owned by companies (1,687 units; +45%).

According to purchasing methods there was a 2% decrease in sales to private customers in 2017, with a market share of 55%. Cars owned by companies (including rental and leasing) grew by 23% representing 45% of total car registrations. This is 5.5 points more than in 2016, bringing them closer to the levels of other major European markets.

The share of alternative fuel cars among private households rose to 16.2% (national average 11.7%). The share of alternative fuel cars among commercial vehicles remains the same as in 2016 at 6.1%.

ANFIA is the contact point for international bodies for the collection of information and statistical data on the automotive industry in Italy: ACEA – European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, OICA – International Organization of Motor Vehicles Manufacturers and CLCCR – International Association of the Body and Trailer Building Industry.

Among the periodic statistical publications by ANFIA:

  • The world automotive industry – last 10 years
  • The automotive industry in Italy - last 10 years
  • The world automotive industry in 2017 and 2018 trends

           >> view the last editions

The ANFIA Studies and Statistics Area also includes statistics from the ANSA- Motori portal which works with various Italian bodies and institutions in the preparation of studies and publications. Among these, the Chamber of Commerce of Turin and the CAMI Centre of Ca' Foscari University of Venice, with which they carry out the annual study Osservatorio sulla componentistica automotive italiana, the Trasporti 2020 Cluster, the Automotive Innovation Pole, ASSTRA and the Lombardy Mobility Cluster.

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