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Hungarians buy fewer new cars, foreigners buy more in April

  In April just 7,617 new cars were registered in Hungary, a 54% drop from the same month a year earlier; but new car sales were boosted by foreign buyers availing of subsidies, daily Népszabadság reported on Tuesday.

Purchases by foreigners from countries where governments are offering citizens subsidies to trade in their old cars for new ones accounted for as much as 80% of all new car purchases at some dealerships, the paper said.

The number of new cars registered in Hungary in January-April plunged 45% to 34,000 from the same period a year earlier. Figures from Datahouse make Ford the leader on the market for passenger cars during the period, followed by Opel and Suzuki. Ford also led the light commercial vehicle market, tailed by Nissan and Fiat.

Suzuki, earlier market leader on the passenger car market, expects to sell just 80,000-85,000 vehicles this year, down from 177,000 in 2008. There are 3.1m cars in Hungary with an average age of a little more than ten years, according to data from the Central Statistics Office (KSH).