After the good closing last December (+21% on December 2021), the car market closes January with 128,301 registrations, up 19% compared to the 107,853 units registered in January 2022, which in turn closed with a loss by about 20%. However, if we take January 2019 as a reference, the last one before the pandemic and the Ukraine crisis, then registrations for the first month of 2023 are down by 22.4%. UNRAE’s forecasts for the whole of 2023 – burdened by negative economic prospects – anticipate a final balance of around 1.4 million registrations, with a slight growth of 6.3% on 2022, equal to 83,000 more vehicles.
“For the current year, the trend towards a slow growth of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles is expected, with the hope of an acceleration in the medium term thanks also to the publication of the decrees of the Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security, which allocate 713 million euros for the installation, within the next three years, of 13,755 90 kW electric recharging infrastructures in urban centers and at least another 7,500 super-fast recharges (175 kW) in expressways”, reads a note official of the National Union of Foreign Motor Vehicle Representatives.
Among fuels, petrol and diesel held steady in January, with the former losing 0.8 percentage points, to a 26.4% share, while diesel remained stable at a 19.1% share. LPG gains 1/3 of the volumes and rises to 10.3% (+1.1%), natural gas stops at just 0.2% of the market. The rise of hybrids continues, recovering almost two points and rising to a 36.7% share, with 9.7% for “full” hybrids and 27.0% for “mild” hybrids. In January, the share of pure electric cars collapsed, to 2.6% of the total; plug-in hybrids (that is, those rechargeable from an external current source) manage to keep it at 4.7%. The rechargeable ones, overall, fell in the month to 7.3% of the preferences.
To date, public incentives for the purchase of traditionally fueled cars – those with CO2 emissions from 61 to 135 grams/km – have already been booked for 83.4% of the dedicated fund and will run out very soon. While the allocation for electric cars and surroundings risks remaining largely unused, as happened in 2022: in fact, for cars with CO2 emissions from 0 to 20 grams/kilometre, electric cars to be clear, incentives have been reserved only for 3.3% of the allocated resources; and for cars with CO2 emissions from 21 to 60 grams/km, plug-in hybrids, only 2.8%.
According to Gian Primo Quagliano, president of the Centro Studi Promotor, “the current recovery is essentially due to an easing of supply difficulties generated by the shortage of microchips and other essential components for the production of cars. To return to normality (and therefore to a volume of registrations close to 2,000,000 cars per year) the factors that negatively affected demand must also be overcome and in particular the war in Ukraine must end, the concrete consequences of which and psychological factors have also heavily influenced the car market”. This prospect does not seem achievable in the short term by the Promotor Study Center, which estimates registrations in 2023 at around 1.5 million cars, with a 14% growth over 2022, but with a gap to fill compared to 2019 of over 400 thousand cars .