Bologna, December 4 - Automobile sales are likely to drop by 5% next year, a severe blow coming on on top of 2012 losses, the president of Italy's auto sales association warned Tuesday. Filippo Pavan Bernacchi, of Federauto, dismissed estimates by the Centro Studi Promotor that sales could rise by as much as 11% next year, saying such figures are not supported by market conditions. "A year from now, we'll see who was right," he told reporters gathered at an auto show in Bologna. He blamed everything from political uncertainty due to next spring's elections for an Italian premier, to tax increases scheduled for July 2013, to the economic recession for the industry's woes. The 1% increase in the value-added tax (VAT) next July will boost average auto prices by as much as 440 euros, Pavan Bernacchi added. Meanwhile, losses for the current year could reach 20% of average sales, he said. In fact, auto sales fell by 20% in November alone compared with the same period in 2011, according to data from the infrastructure ministry.