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Number of new cars put on road falls 55% in January-March

In the first quarter of this year 10,210 new cars were put on the road in Hungary, 55% fewer than in the same period a year earlier, the Hungarian association of vehicle importers (MGE) said.

Part of the reason for the drop was a high base, MGE said. In the first third of 2009, dealers offered buyers big discounts to reduce stocks. MGE sees new car sales starting to rise again from the second half of 2010.

The number of light commercial vehicles put on the road in January-March 2010 fell around 56% from a year earlier to 1,689 and the number of motorcycles dropped 40% to 488.

The number of heavy commercial vehicles put on the road in March fell 45% to 133.

MGE points out that the market for new cars continued to be dominated by corporate and fleet sales in the first quarter of 2010. This trend has been observed since the start of the crisis and will continue until the return of customers' readiness to borrow. This, in turn, largely depends on when the recovery from the crisis and an improvement in the employment situation become palpable, MGE emphasized in the statement.

The government decree on prudential retail lending, which came into effect on March 1, 2010, introduced more stringent conditions on financing sales to customers, which has created difficulties in vehicle distribution, particularly in the segment of retail customers, MGE said. (MTI – Econews)