Summary of our market study

Since 2020, the car dealership market in Italy has experienced notable fluctuations in consumer demand. Motor vehicle registrations saw a significant decline between 2019 and 2020, with a 27.9% drop, although the number of registrations partially recovered by 2023, reaching 1.59 million cars, a 19.5% increase compared to 2022. The average monthly household expenditure on new car purchases also plummeted by 49.5% from 2017 to 2022, reflecting consumer caution. However, the market overall has seen growth, including in the online car sales sector, which is predicted to expand from $326.0 billion in 2023 to $753.7 billion by 2032 at a CAGR of 9.76%. The car dealership industry workforce also grew from 91,500 to 99,200 employees between 2017 and 2021, indicating a market's resilience and adaptability to changing consumer patterns and economic conditions.

Italy's Car Dealership Demand Trends: A Market in Flux with Shifting Consumer Preferences

The Italian car dealership market has been seeing some dynamic changes in recent years, with fluctuations in consumer demand reflecting a range of economic and social factors. One of the most notable trends is the overall reduction in the number of cars registered annually between 2018 and 2023. The figures have decreased from between 1.85 and 1.95 million down to between 1.55 and 1.65 million, highlighting a significant drop of approximately 17.2 percent. Part of this decline occurred, with a sharp drop of nearly 27.9%, although the year 2023 did see a rebound with the highest registration numbers since 2019 at around 1.59 million. The types of vehicles Italians are choosing are also evolving. In 2023, non-plug-in hybrid cars accounted for over a third of the total registrations at 36.2%, overtaking the traditional favorites—gasoline at 28.3% and diesel at 17.8%. The interest in more environmentally friendly options is clear, with plug-in hybrids and full electric vehicles representing 4.4% and 4.2% respectively, albeit still a small portion of the market.

Household spending on car purchases is another area that has seen dramatic changes. There's been a significant dip in average monthly spending, cutting in half from around 80 to 85 euros to between 40 and 45 euros. This nearly 50% contraction in spending from 2017 to 2022 suggests a more cautious approach to car purchasing among Italian consumers. Ownership rates offer a brighter picture, with an increase from around 79% to 81% of households owning at least one car from 2017 to 2021, and a more significant jump to between 30% and 35% of households having more than one car. This indicates that, while spending may have reduced, cars remain an important asset for Italian families. Examining the demand drivers, there is a clear correlation between professional status and expenditure on transportation purchases. Those with more significant roles, like entrepreneurs and freelancers, spend the most, averaging between 140 and 150 euros, with managers and blue-collar workers following at intermediate levels between 70 and 115 euros. Job seekers spend the least, with a modest average of around 20 euros. The online car sales segment has displayed tremendous growth potential with the emergence of e-commerce.

Key Players Shaping the Italian Car Dealership Landscape

The Italian car dealership market is a dynamic landscape featuring some of the most prestigious names in the automotive industry, each with its unique value proposition, geographical presence, and customer service philosophy.

  • Volkswagen Group Italia s.p.a As the Italian subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, Volkswagen Group Italia plays a crucial role in importing and selling a diverse portfolio of vehicles, including brands such as Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, CUPRA, Škoda, and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Their strategic presence and robust service offerings have enabled them to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction while providing a solid foundation for sustainable business growth within their network of dealerships.
  • Groupe PSA Italia s.p.a (Now Stellantis) Before merging with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to form Stellantis, Groupe PSA Italia operated as the Italian arm of Groupe PSA. They were instrumental in bringing popular French brands like Peugeot, Citroën, DS Automobiles, and Opel/Vauxhall to the Italian consumers. Post-merger, the Italian subsidiary has integrated its operations into Stellantis, creating one of the largest automotive conglomerates with a focus on technological innovation and sustainability.
  • Mercedes Benz Italia s.p.a As a marque of excellence and luxury, Mercedes Benz Italia serves as the Italian subsidiary of the German automaker Daimler AG, ensuring the distribution, sales, and service of Mercedes-Benz vehicles across Italy. Their emphasis on design, performance, and cutting-edge technology allows them to occupy a distinguished space in the high-end segment of the Italian car market.
  • Renault Italia s.p.a Renault Italia represents the Italian operations of the Renault Group and showcases the brand's commitment to offering practical, reliable, and cost-effective vehicles to the private and corporate markets. A leader in electric vehicle innovation, Renault Italia makes considerable strides in promoting electric mobility through their popular models such as the Renault ZOE.
  • BMW Italia s.p.a Upholding the standards of German engineering, BMW Italia distributes, sells, and services BMW's range of luxury cars in Italy. The company is known for its high-performance vehicles that epitomize high quality and technological innovation. With their growing focus on electric and hybrid models, BMW Italia is driving sustainability in mobility.
  • Toyota Motor Italia s.p.a Toyota Motor Italia is the Italian subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation, the Japanese giant known for its quality, efficiency, and technological prowess.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market Overview

1.1 Definition and presentation

Car dealerships are market participants who are engaged in the purchase and resale of automobiles and motor vehicles, as well as their individual components, with the aim of making a profit. Car dealers typically generate income from the following activities:

  • Sale of new vehicles: the dealer purchases vehicles from manufacturers and sells them to end customers, such as businesses or individuals
  • Used vehicle sales: the dealer purchases used vehicles from individuals or rental companies and resells them on the market
  • Mobility services: today, dealers are beginning to provide customers with a range of traditional sales products, including long-term and short-term rentals. In most cases they purchase cars from rental companies, and the 11 Corporate Analysis of the car dealership provides for these services (Rent to Rent Business). At the end of the rental period, the vehicles are offered for sale
  • Service and spare parts: this business includes the maintenance of cars in the workshop. In addition, the dealer has spare parts in stock that he can also sell to other dealers: in particular, some parts are original OEM and unaffiliated dealers can only get them from an affiliated dealer. Therefore, the price of original parts is increased by the dealers who resell them
  • Financial service: starting in the 1970s, car dealers began to cooperate with banks or automakers to offer loans to end customers for car purchases. This opened up a new source of income for dealers to have a specific line of credit from OEMs that dealers use to order new cars based on consumer and manufacturer requests

In 2022 the global automotive market reached a total value of 2.81 trillion dollars and is expected to grow at a compound annual rate (CAGR) of 4.42 percent during the period 2022-2030. As for the market of automobiles and light vehicles, in 2022 the global market is estimated at 1.74 trillion dollars. During the period 2022-2030, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.6 percent, under which the market could reach a total value of 3.0 trillion dollars.

This study focuses on the specific car dealer market in Italy, analyzing consumer trends, competitive dynamics, and growth prospects for the industry. For information on related markets, such as electric cars, see the specific studies available in the Businesscoot catalog.

1.2 The global market

in ****, the global automotive market reached a total value of $*.** trillion. A compound annual growth rate (***) of *.**% is projected for the period ****-**** under which the world market could reach a total value of $*.** trillion at the end of the period

Automotive Market World, ****-****, in trillions of dollars Zionamarketresearch

The ...

1.3 The Italian market

Between **** and ****, the total turnover of enterprises devoted to the manufacture of motor vehicles appears to be declining. During the period, total turnover decreased from **.** billion euros to **.** billion euros, thus registering a contraction of **.* percent. The decline appears to be constant between **** and **** (***) while between **** and **** there is a recovery ...

1.4 Import - Export

In order to analyze Italy's trade flows with regard to the automotive sector, HS code **** "Motor vehicles and other motor vehicles designed for the transportation of persons" is taken into consideration.

By analyzing trade flows in the period ****-****, it is possible to highlight the positioning of Italy as a net ...

1.5 The consequences of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict

The outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict in February **** led to a general increase in price indexes, among other things. Relative to the automotive sector, between January **** and December ****, the consumer price index for car purchases increased by **.* points to ***.* points. This means that over a period of ** months, average prices for ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Demand in Italy

To analyze the demand for cars in Italy, the number of registrations, the types of cars registered, the average household expenditure on purchase and the number of cars owned by households are taken into account.

Between **** and ****, the total number of cars registered annually in Italy is shrinking. During the period ...

2.2 Demand drivers

In order to analyze the drivers of automobile demand in Italy, the average monthly expenditure according to professional position, the periodicity with which Italians change their cars, and the main reasons expressed regarding the new purchase are considered.

Considering the average monthly expenditure on transportation purchases, it is possible to identify ...

2.3 Geographical distribution of demand

In order to visualize the geographic distribution of automobile demand in Italy, two maps were created with the distribution in each Italian macro-region of registrations and average monthly household expenditure on automobile purchases.

Starting with registrations, more than ** percent of total registrations made in **** are concentrated in the North of the ...

2.4 New demand trends

Online car sales is a relatively recent phenomenon that is gaining more and more popularity. With the advent of the Internet and digital technologies, buying cars through online platforms has become a convenient option for both sellers and buyers. One of the greatest advantages of selling cars online is convenience. Buyers ...

3 Market structure

3.1 The market structure

to determine the structure of the car dealer market in Italy, enterprises under Ateco Code **.** "Trade in passenger cars and light motor vehicles" are analyzed. In particular, the number of active enterprises, the number of employees in enterprises and the legal form of activities are highlighted.

Number of enterprises

Between **** and ...

3.2 The value chain

The stage related to the choice of financing or leasing formula is crucial because it concerns the facilitation of vehicle purchase by customers, making the process accessible and financially manageable. An in-depth discussion related to this stage is offered below:

Detailed aspects of financing

Types of loans: car purchase loans can ...

3.3 The main actors


Volkswagen Group Italia s.p.a: is the Italian subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group and has as its main purpose the importation of Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, CUPRA, Škoda and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles cars, spare parts and accessories, the marketing and servicing of the products of the brands represented, while ensuring ...

4 Supply analysis

4.1 Type of the offer

The dealer is nothing more than a dealer with the task of reselling in his own name and for his own account goods produced by the industry that produced them and from which he acquired them (***) who dictates his own sales rules, for example through a special offer that other dealers ...

4.2 The prices

for the analysis of prices related to automobiles, consumer price indexes for new and used car purchases powered by gasoline, diesel, and electric or hybrid cars are analyzed.

For diesel-powered cars, between January **** and November ****, the consumer price index for new cars shows a growth of **.* points. This means that in ...

4.3 New supply trends: Amazon's entry into the car market

Amazon is entering the online car sales market, starting with a major partnership with Hyundai. Starting in the second half of ****, it will be possible to buy Hyundai vehicles on Amazon's website in the United States, followed by other brands later that year. This move represents a significant step in the ...

5 Regulations

5.1 The legislation

Listed below are some of the main legislative issues pertaining to the activities of car dealers in Italy:

Regulation (***) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to categories of vertical agreements and concerted practices in the motor vehicle sector. Presidential Decree No. ** of February **, ****: regulation implementing Directive ****/**/EC ...

6 Positioning of actors

6.1 Segmentation

  • Volkswagen Group Italia s.p.a
  • Groupe PSA Italia s.p.a
  • Mercedes Benz Italia s.p.a
  • Reanault Italia s.p.a
  • Eurocar Italia s.r.l
  • Carpoint s.p.a
  • Fratelli Giacomel s.p.a

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Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Volkswagen Group Italia s.p.a
Groupe PSA Italia s.p.a
Mercedes Benz Italia s.p.a
Reanault Italia s.p.a
Eurocar Italia s.r.l
Carpoint s.p.a
Fratelli Giacomel s.p.a

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