Fiat says 2012 worst for auto sales since 1979

Despite recession, carmaker increases market share within Italy

Fiat says 2012 worst for auto sales since 1979

Rome, January 2 - Calling 2012 its worst year for auto sales in Italy since 1979, Fiat said Wednesday that it still managed to nudge up its market share at home. The Turin-based Fiat SpA announced that Fiat Group's share of the 2012 auto market in recession-plagued Italy rose very slightly to 29.6% from 2011's share of 29.4%. Although 2012 was "the most negative scenario" at home since 1979, the group outperformed other vehicle manufacturers, Fiat said in a statement. Auto sales from other manufacturers dropped in 2012 by 19.6%, compared with 2011. In 2012, 414,920 new Fiat autos were registered in Italy, a decline of 19.4% compared to 2011 for the company whose products include Lancia, Alfa Romeo, as well as Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge. But in comparison, total vehicle registrations in Italy fell by 19.9% compared with 2011 figures, according to the transport ministry. Total new car registrations in Italy in December fell by 22.5% or 86,735 units, bringing the total for 2012 to 1.4 million cars. For new Fiats, registrations last month totalled 25,385 vehicles, giving the company a market share of 29.3%. But compared with December 2011, Fiat registrations fell by 20.2%.

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