The number of registrations of passenger transport vehicles increased significantly again by 67.4% y/y in Q4, according to data released by the state statistical institute. The growth pace accelerated compared to the previous quarter but did not exceed the performance reported in Q1/2017. The rise was again mostly fuelled by another notable increase of passenger car registrations, which have been growing with double-digit paces in the past years. The passenger cars segment also has the highest share in the total so its dynamics has a major influence on the overall indicator. The number of registrations of mopeds and motorcycles remained on double-digit growth trend too, in our opinion because harsh traffic conditions in the country’s major cities boost demand. The number of bus registrations rose relatively strong y/y in Q4, supported by public procurement of buses announced by some regional administrations.
In the merchandise transport vehicles category, the annual rise accelerated as well, backed by truck registrations. The performance was notable in H1/2017, mainly fuelled by some notable jumps of new truck registrations. We think the rebound in truck registrations during the year was most likely on account of payment of subsidies in agriculture, which encouraged farmers to invest more in technology and equipment. In addition, haulers operations has increased to cover the rising imports and retailing turnover, which we think might have also had an upward effect on the new truck registrations.
Looking ahead, we think that the registrations of passenger cars would probably remain the major growth driver of the vehicle registrations in Romania. The merchandise vehicle registrations might moderate, as we see some negative effects from the fuel price growth and from the increased uncertainties in the economy.