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New car sales drop sharply in H1

Car sales in Hungary have slumped so heavily, that the country's market could become insignificant for automakers, Hungarian Vehicle Importers Association (MGE) told MTI.

MGE said that data which the association compiles in cooperation with DataHouse shows that the number of new cars and SUVs sold in Hungary dropped 45% yr/yr to 25,330 during the first six months of 2010. New passenger car registrations numbered 21,530 after 39,778 in H1 2009 and 82,254 in H1 2008.

The drop in sales could deprive the government of a significant portion of the HUF 100 billion in taxes derived from automobile sales that it collects annually, MGE said.

MGE has modified its forecast and now predicts 50,000 new cars will be sold in Hungary this year instead of the previously predicted 65,000. The association said that 500,000-600,000 "surplus" vehicles remain on Hungary's new-car market from the period 2002-2008, which could serve to further decrease sales.

At its peak six years ago, an annual 208,000 new cars were registered. (MTI-ECONEWS)