Italians used bulk of automotive incentives to buy cars made abroad

Italians used bulk of automotive incentives to buy cars made abroad

Automotive News Europe — 2023-08-07

Automotive Industry

Italian car buyers have used 80% of the automotive incentives provided by Rome to buy vehicles produced abroad, the country's industry minister said on Wednesday, adding the government would reshape the structure of the scheme.

Italy has agreed to spend €650 m ($708.89 m) a year from 2022 through 2024 for incentives for people who purchase zero- and low-emission cars.

Industry Minister Adolfo Urso said a revision of the automotive incentive framework would have to support both a shift to more environmental friendly vehicles and national car output.

"The balance, so far, says 80% of the incentives went to cars produced abroad and imported to Italy," Urso told parliament.

A revision of the incentives should be part of talks the government is currently holding with Fiat-maker Stellantis, the sole major automaker in Italy, on a broad plan to 2030 for the country's automotive industry.

Italy, which is lagging other major European countries in terms of full-electric vehicle registrations, has so far funded the purchases of full electric and plug-in hybrid cars but also the latest state-of the-art internal combustion ones.

However, Urso said over 11 m polluting cars were currently circulating in Italy.

"We must act," he said.

France too has faced a similiar issue after offering buyers a 5,000-euro ($5,500) credit for EVs bought in the country, provided their maximum price is below €47,000 and their weight is below 2.4 tons. Tesla has recently lowered the price of its Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV to make them eligible for the subsidies, sparking criticism that French taxpayers are subsidizing foreign brands.