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Association: New car imports set to climb 4% this year

Hungarian imports of new cars could rise 4% this year, the managing director of the Hungarian Association of Vehicle Importers (MGE) said at a press conference today, state news agency MTI reported.

MGE expects imports of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) to increase 3%, while imports of motorcycles could climb 5% and imports of buses are set to rise 10%, said Péter Erdélyi. Imports of heavy commercial vehicles are expected to stagnate, he added.

New vehicle sales in Hungary rose almost 14% to 103,000 last year, according to market researcher Datahouse. Car sales were up 14.3% and LCV sales climbed 9.9%.

Erdélyi said corporate purchases would remain a market driver, although private car buyers would also return to showrooms this year. He added that car ownership in Hungary is still under the European Union average.

About 77,000 new cars were imported to Hungary last year, level with the number in 1999, Erdélyi said. Imports of LCVs reached 17,500, up 1,500 from 2014.

MGE board member Péter Dér said the deregulation of the long-distance bus market at the end of this year could boost bus imports. Last year, the number of new buses imported to Hungary rose about 17% to 546, he added.