Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/03/2013 -- Romania was the second-worst performing auto market in the EU in August 2012, with new vehicle registrations falling by 42.3% and only Greece reporting a more substantial decline, according to the European Manufacturer's Association. Just 5,044 new passenger cars were registered in Romania during the month, down from 8,747 in August 2011, with Land Rover, Honda and Renault's locally manufactured Dacia leading the market. This decline appears more modest when considered as part of the January to August 2012 period, coming in at jut a 9.4% decline y-o-y.
Data from the country's Driving Licences and Car Registration Department meanwhile indicate that Romania's second-hand autos market is booming. Used car sales increased by 147% y-o-y for June, July and August combined, from 18,687 units in summer 2011 to 46,217.
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These thrifty consumer trends are symptomatic of the gloomy economic picture in Romania and beyond. The government of President Traian Basescu, who recently escaped impeachment when a constitutional court ruled that a referendum on the matter was too poorly attended to be valid, has been pursuing necessary austerity measures in recent years. These have, however, created a flat retail environment characterised by weak consumer confidence, hence the decline in new car purchases to the advantage of previously-owned models. Romania's political climate could undergo a sea change in December 2012, however, if its current Prime Minister, the left-leaning Victor Ponta, is elected as president in place of Basecu as is widely anticipated.
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