Auto market plunges 60 pct by mid-year

The sales of new vehicles in the Romanian market plunged 60 percent in the first half of 2009 from 176,429 cars sold in the same period a year ago amid the delayed resumption of lending, the importers’ representatives told the Business Standard daily.

The sales of utility vehicles were down more than 70 percent in the six months of this year from nearly 30,000 units reported in the same period of 2008.

The auto industry representatives say the chances to unblock the auto market are slim, given that the banks show no signs of planning to resume loan-extension.

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The auto market contracted nearly 12 percent in 2008 down to 324,080 units, after eight years of vigorous growth.

The car demand slumped more than 14 percent down to 270,995 vehicles as a result of the relaxation of the imports of used cars in the early months of last year and after the credit crisis broke out later last year.

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