According to ANFIA, the Italian Association of the Automotive Industry, after growth in initial two months of 2021, thanks also to the first incentive window of the Investment Decree (Ministerial Decree No. 203 of 12 May 2020), the Italian market for trucks and trailer vehicles continued with a positive trend into March as well.
The double-digit increases in the third month of the year are however distorted by the comparison with the particularly low March 2020 volumes (-33.5% for trucks and -60.1% for trailers); a month deeply affected by the impact of the anti-Covid emergency measures, including the closure of dealerships and sales networks throughout the country, as well as the blocking of the registration process resulting from the suspension of the activities by provincial motor vehicle operators.
Analyzing the market in detail in March 2021, 2,362 log books for new trucks were issued in that month (+ 71.3% compared to March 2020) and 1,427 log books for new trailers and heavy semi-trailers, i.e. with a GVW exceeding 3,500 kg (+ 97.1%), split between 133 trailers (+ 82.2%) and 1,294 semi-trailers (+ 98.8%). In the first quarter of 2021 there were 6,748 log books for new trucks, 25.4% more than in the first quarter of 2020, and 3,885 log books for new trailers and heavy semi-trailers (+ 34.2% compared to January-March 2020), broken down as follows: 350 trailers (+ 44%) and 3,535 semi-trailers (+ 33.2%).
By weight class, vehicles 16 tons and above recorded the greatest growth (+ 27.6%) over the first quarter of 2020, with 5,738 units sold, while trucks weighing more than five and under six tones reported a decline (-8.7%), as did those over eight and up to 11.5 tones (-14%).
All other classes, however, are up by double digits.
Rigid trucks were up by 20.7% in the quarter, while tractor units grew by 29.8%. Both construction vehicles and road vehicles remained positive in the first quarter of the year, at +38% and +24.4% respectively. Looking at the fuel mix, in January-March 2021 the market share of gas-powered vehicles was 6.5% (it was 6.2% in January-March 2020), for a total of 441 units, while electric trucks and diesel/electric hybrids represent just 0.2% of the total (it was 0.3% in January-March 2020).
Also for trailer vehicles, double-digit growth in the quarter was recorded across all geographical areas: +50.4% for the Central regions, +46.7% in the North-East, +25.6% in the North- West and +25.4% in the South and islands. Foreign makes totalled 2,244 log books (+ 41.8%), while domestic makes, at 1,641 log books, grew by 25%.
Important numbers, but, as anticipated, distorted by a virtually unique historical and economic context.
For this reason, in order to support the recovery of the truck and trailer sector, and push the spread of technologies with low environmental impact and high safety standards, ANFIA has restated certain priorities.
First of all, it is necessary to confirm the timing already planned for the incentives provided for by the Ministerial Decree 203/20, which sets the second booking period from 14 May to 30 June. Furthermore, it is necessary to work with the utmost agreement to bring together all the resources hitherto used in the Investment Fund referred to in Ministerial Decree 203/20, including those allocated under “Fiscal” Law no. 157/19. It is also essential to approve by this year the implementation methods of the resources for the investments envisaged by the new Autotransport Fund 2021-22 and related additional resources from other sources.
Among the priorities also are widespread, uniform development in the sphere of zero-emission vehicle infrastructure - including refuelling infrastructure for commercial vehicles powered by hydrogen at 700 bar - and the promotion of innovative systems for logistics and "intelligent" transport. Finally, providing for a scrapping measure for trailer vehicles of all categories would make it possible to accelerate the renewal of the fleet for the benefit of safety too for this specific sector.
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