New vehicle sales in Romania reached just over 12,000 units in October 2009, down 50% compared with the same month of the previous year, according to carmakers in the country. Cumulative sales in 10M09 reached 126,000 units, down 56% year-on-year (y-o-y), and prompted Constantin Stroe, vice president of Automobile Dacia and chairman of the Association of Carmakers in Romania (APIA), to forecast total sales of only 130,000 units by end-2009, or 135,000 in ‘the best case scenario’. This followed a fall of 12% to 324,080 in 2008. For Stroe’s forecast to be fulfilled, new vehicle sales would have to maintain less than a 50% y-o-y decline in November and December 2009, a feat which may be difficult given that demand fell well over 50% between June and October. BMI points out that such falls in vehicle sales have become typical in emerging Eastern European markets. However, this is the first time Romania’s autos market has surpassed Hungary’s, where sales fell a considerable 72% y-o-y, to only 3,557units, during October.
The APIA estimates that Hungary has a higher per capita car ownership than Romania, with an autos market traditionally almost twice its size. Romania’s car trade figures strikingly demonstrate the effects of the economic crisis on one hand and European governments’ response to it on the other. In the first 10 months of 2009, vehicle imports totalled 89,691, down 57.1% from 10M08, according to APIA, Passenger car imports fell 54% to 77,726. Meanwhile, vehicle exports climbed 50.5% to 211,318, with passenger car exports rising 43.1% to 198,537. However, the outlook for the country’s two major car manufacturers is positive. US carmaker Ford Motor has pledged EUR675mn in investment to revive its plant in Craiova, aiming for annual production of 300,000 vehicles and 300,000 engines. Ford’s plans would increase vehicle production capacity by 50% and raise employment from 7,000 to up to 9,000 workers. By 2012, investment will rise to EUR1bn a year, according to an earlier Ford statement. The acquisition of the Craiova plant would have farreaching implications for Romania’s automotive industry. Low labour costs, high skills, and EU accession have all counted in Romania’s favour. Ford’s plans would raise Romania’s annual production capacity to 650,000 units by the end of the decade. Meanwhile, according to Samar.pl, Dacia produced its one-millionth entry-level vehicle (a 1.6 MPI Logan Preference) at the Mioveni plant in Pitesti, on September 3 2009.
Over a period of five years, the facility has produced five models – the Logan, Logan MCV, Sandero, Logan Van and Logan Pick-Up. With robust demand both from home and abroad, the carmaker was prompted to significantly increase production at its Mioveni plant, which turned out nearly 32,000 units in July. BMI believes that Dacia will be hoping to take advantage of the demand for its cars while it lasts. This is especially important as the effects of the credit crunch in Romania are not likely to fade until late 2010, and a considerable slowing in economic growth is expected to continue until the end of our forecast period to 2014.

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Romania Autos Report Q1 2010 (Business Monitor International)

New vehicle sales in Romania reached just over 12,000 units in October 2009, down 50% compared with the same month of the previous year, according to carmakers in the country. Cumulative sales in 10M09 reached 126,000 units, down 56% year-on-year (y-o-y), and prompted Constantin Stroe, vice president of Automobile Dacia and chairman of the Association of Carmakers in Romania (APIA), to forecast total sales of only 130,000 units by end-2009, or 135,000 in ‘the best case scenario’. This followed a fall of 12% to 324,080 in 2008. For Stroe’s forecast to be fulfilled, new vehicle sales would have to maintain less than a 50% y-o-y decline in November and December 2009, a feat which may be difficult given that demand fell well over 50% between June and October. BMI points out that such falls in vehicle sales have become typical in emerging Eastern European markets. However, this is the first time Romania’s autos market has surpassed Hungary’s, where sales fell a considerable 72% y-o-y, to only 3,557units, during October.
The APIA estimates that Hungary has a higher per capita car ownership than Romania, with an autos market traditionally almost twice its size. Romania’s car trade figures strikingly demonstrate the effects of the economic crisis on one hand and European governments’ response to it on the other. In the first 10 months of 2009, vehicle imports totalled 89,691, down 57.1% from 10M08, according to APIA, Passenger car imports fell 54% to 77,726. Meanwhile, vehicle exports climbed 50.5% to 211,318, with passenger car exports rising 43.1% to 198,537. However, the outlook for the country’s two major car manufacturers is positive. US carmaker Ford Motor has pledged EUR675mn in investment to revive its plant in Craiova, aiming for annual production of 300,000 vehicles and 300,000 engines. Ford’s plans would increase vehicle production capacity by 50% and raise employment from 7,000 to up to 9,000 workers. By 2012, investment will rise to EUR1bn a year, according to an earlier Ford statement. The acquisition of the Craiova plant would have farreaching implications for Romania’s automotive industry. Low labour costs, high skills, and EU accession have all counted in Romania’s favour. Ford’s plans would raise Romania’s annual production capacity to 650,000 units by the end of the decade. Meanwhile, according to Samar.pl, Dacia produced its one-millionth entry-level vehicle (a 1.6 MPI Logan Preference) at the Mioveni plant in Pitesti, on September 3 2009.
Over a period of five years, the facility has produced five models – the Logan, Logan MCV, Sandero, Logan Van and Logan Pick-Up. With robust demand both from home and abroad, the carmaker was prompted to significantly increase production at its Mioveni plant, which turned out nearly 32,000 units in July. BMI believes that Dacia will be hoping to take advantage of the demand for its cars while it lasts. This is especially important as the effects of the credit crunch in Romania are not likely to fade until late 2010, and a considerable slowing in economic growth is expected to continue until the end of our forecast period to 2014.

Read the article on CompaniesAndMarkets.com

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