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The automotive sector has a diminished impact on the national GDP

Osservatorio Autopromotec


In 2020, Italian families and businesses spent 157.4 billion euro on new cars and maintenance, registering a 20.5 percent decrease over 2019

Vittorio Ricci

The impact of the automotive sector on the national GDP has diminished. In 2020, Italian households and businesses spent 157.4 billion euro on purchasing new vehicles (passenger cars, commercial vehicles, industrial vehicles and buses). This represents a 20.5% decrease compared to 2019, and since this sector is decreasing at a faster rate than the GDP itself, the weight of the automotive sector on the national economy, also dropped, from 11.1 to 9.7% of the GDP. According to the Autopromotec Observatory, which carried out the study, the drop in spending is essentially due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has brought the entire automotive sector to its knees. Analysing the study in detail, what emerges is that among all the items of expenditure linked to motor vehicles, the one that scored the highest spending was fuel with 44.9 billion euro. If we compare this with 2019, it still represents a 26% contraction due to lower consumption - the lockdown having a major impact on this - and a significant drop in prices. The second largest item of expenditure was new registrations, which account for 39.4 billion euro compared to 51.8 in 2019. As can be seen in the infographic, the drop was drastic indeed (-23.9%) due to the collapse of new registrations. In fact, in the past year, registrations were 1,381,496, recording a drop of 27.9% compared to 2019. A figure that, according to several analysts, can be likened to the crisis sweeping across Europe back in the 70s of the last century. The slowdown in sales has led, according to some estimates of the Promotor Study Centre, to a contraction in turnover of 12.17 billion compared to 2019, while VAT revenue has fallen by 9.97 billion. It is quite evident that for the automotive sector another year like 2020 would have catastrophic effects. Returning to the data on spending, the third item relates to maintenance and repair, which accounted for 32.9 billion in 2020, compared to 40.5 in 2019. The drop between the two years was 18.7% and was essentially determined by stringent restrictions on circulation. In fourth place, we find third party, theft and fire insurance premiums. In 2020, Italian families and businesses paid 18.2 billion euro to insurance companies. A figure slightly lower than the 18.4 billion spent in 2019 justified by the fact that prices for car insurance have fallen, albeit slightly (-0.8%), as shown by the ISTAT index of consumer prices. Fifth and sixth items in terms of importance are, respectively, those related to parking spaces (which absorbed 8.8 billion, with a decrease of 2.8% due to a reduction in rates) and car taxes, which still guaranteed a revenue of 6.78 billion, a very slight increase compared to the 6.74 billion in 2019 because, despite the pandemic, the circulating fleet, according to estimates by the Autopromotec Observatory, grew by 0.6%. Finally, at the bottom of the table, we find motorway tolls (4.9 billion, -40.9% compared to 2019 due to a major contraction in traffic volumes) and tire purchasing (2.1 billion, -14.4% over 2019 due to a drop in sales).

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