Passenger cars production in Romania increased by 4.7% y/y to about 317,700 units in January-August, according to data of the Association of Vehicles Producers in Romania (ACAROM) and the Automotive Manufacturers’ and Importers’ Association (APIA). Growth was exclusively driven by a 7.7% y/y increase in Dacia output, whereas the other manufacturer, Ford, produced by 2.4% y/y fewer vehicles in the period. Dacia made more than 228,000 cars in January-August and Ford less than 90,000. Nevertheless, local cars production remained on growth mostly over some good performances earlier this year. August came with some deterioration, probably due to unfavorable external developments, especially in Dacia’s major market, Germany. Thus, Dacia increased production by only 1.2% y/y in August alone and Ford made by 21.2% y/y fewer cars than in August 2018. As a result, total cars production decreased by 2.6% y/y in August.
The domestic auto industry was visibly affected by external demand worsening this summer. Cars production has been among the country’s export pillars for years, heavily dependent on external demand, especially in Europe. Even if Dacia has the biggest market share locally (about 30%), more than 90% of its cars are sold abroad. Ford also exports almost its entire production, so external developments have a major influence on domestic cars industry. In addition to being negatively affected by a weaker demand from Germany, Dacia could face some more negative influence in case of a hard Brexit, because the company sells about 10% of its cars in the UK, according to figures presented by specialized media.