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New car sales up almost 18% in 2018; similar expected in 2019

New passenger car sales in Hungary rose 17.5% to 136,601 last year, according to data from cited by state news wire MTI, based on figures compiled by DataHouse. Alone in the month of December, new passenger car sales fell 10.6% year-on-year to 9,685.

Sales of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) increased 14% to 22,725 in 2018, while sales of heavy commercial vehicles (HCVs) rose 6.7% to 6,245. Bus sales were up 2.8% at 663, while sales of motorcycles climbed 30.9% to 2,986.

In December alone, sales of LCVs were up 18.7% at 2,780, while HCV sales fell 21.5% to 406. Bus sales plunged 63.3% to just 36, and motorcycle sales dropped 6.8% to 55.  

Tractor sales dropped 28.9% to 3,026 for the full year of 2018, while December sales were down 75.9% year-on-year at 266, the data show.

MGE expects 18% sales growth in 2019

The Hungarian Association of Vehicle Importers (MGE) expects 18% market growth this year, the associationʼs head Péter Erdélyi said at a press conference on Thursday. The MGE sees annual vehicle sales coming close to 205,000 in 2019, Erdélyi said.

Sales of passenger cars alone are set to climb at the same rate as the market overall to reach an annual 160,000, he added.

The MGE projects sales of fully electric cars will rise 54% to 2,000, while sales of plug-in hybrids will increase 30% to 1,000.

LCV sales are expected to grow 13% to 30,000, while HCV sales rise 11% to 7,000, and bus sales increase 21% to 800. Motorcycle sales could rise 10% to 3,300.

Erdélyi noted that there are 394 cars per 1,000 inhabitants in Hungary, well under the 587 average for the European Union as a whole. The average age of cars on the road in Hungary is over 14 years, also above the 11-year average for the EU, he added.