The number of new passenger car registrations in Romania rose by 6.8% y/y to 9,331 units in December, according to data published by the European Association of Car Producers (ACEA). The growth comes after a notable 20.2% y/y jump recorded a month earlier, which was most probably fuelled by the government decision to extend the scrappage program that supports new car purchases until the end of the year. The indicator fell in monthly terms, as the newly issued vouchers in the scrappage program finished in November and because car purchases are not a priority in the last month of the year. Nevertheless, the annual increase of the new passenger car registrations in Romania was more than double than the EU average in the month. As for the entire year, the indicator rose by 17.0% y/y in 2016, so the new car registrations market marked another year with robust growth, backed by the population’s improved incomes but also sustained by the scrappage program.
Looking at the domestic production, the country’s most important exporter and biggest industrial players, Dacia, increased its sales in the EU by 8.1% y/y to 37,061 units in December alone. Thus, the Romanian manufacturer increased its market share in EU to 3.2% from 3.1% in the same month a year before. Dacia’s rising sales were likely fuelled by the local market improvements and by the economic pick-up in the company’s most important markets, Germany and France. We note that Dacia has more than 30% market share locally and its cars fit the best to the scrappage program. Still, Dacia mostly sells abroad, so the sales rise was most likely the result of better economic conditions in the region. The sales advance in 2016 was higher, at 9.6% y/y, fuelled by better performance from earlier in the year. Yet, Dacia’s market share in 2016 remained at 2.8%, the same as a year earlier.