Have you ever seen a perfect storm? Here she is! the crisis in the auto industry at the time of the coronavirus. However, for a storm to be perfect, the disaster must overlap with an already shaky situation. And the premises, in this case, were a slowed down market and the expensive and complicated electrical transition. That is, the transition that the auto industry had started transhuming from a production of conventional cars (classic petrol or diesel) to that of new generation hybrid vehicles (in various declinations) or, even, fully electric. This passage for the Houses had already been foreseen as painful for the lower margins and the huge capitals committed for research, for the new platforms for vehicles which are in any case different from those we have driven to date, for the adaptation of the plants to the new ones production needs. Leaving aside the expenses for applied electronics and more or less autonomous driving: here the Houses buy systems and accessories already ready from (a few) external suppliers.


INDUSTRIAL CRISIS From Asia, to Europe, to America, the wave of contagion has closed all the factories where cars are built, one after the other, freezing production, scleroticizing a market. In Europe, the Covid-19 emergency endangers, as ACEA warns (the association of houses operating in our continent), the workplace of about 14 million workers. In mid-April, the European auto industry and that of components still completely stopped. The forecasts say that it will take months to return the assembly lines to normal (always admitted and not granted that there are no shortages of components as is happening for batteries where Chinese supplies are slow). Something is starting to work in the Far East (China), but even there is no 100% gear. In Italy, where the car market in March showed -85.6% (-56% in Europe) compared to the same month of 2019 (but in April the prospects are worse), Anfia (the association of Italian car industry) and Unrae (the union of foreign companies operating on the national territory) have launched proposals to try to revitalize the market when the emergency calms and will start working again focusing on state incentives and tax exemption. Remaining in Italy, the prospects for the 2020 car market range from a drop of 300,000 to 600,000 cars compared to last year when there were about two million new cars registered. This collapse will also be a disaster for the state coffers, because Unrae has calculated that for every 100,000 fewer cars, the tax authorities lose half a billion euros of VAT only, which is not received.


INCENTIVES This is why the president of Unrae, Michele Crisci, proposes a system of incentives for scrapping with a state intervention that evolves the “bonus-malus” system currently in force. The creation of a third range of cars, always with a low environmental impact, is requested to increase the number of incentive models and their impact on the market. So to the two bands that already enjoy bonuses, which involve vehicles with CO2 emissions of less than 20 g / km (first band) and up to 60 g / km (second band), it is suggested to extend the state benefits also to cars which reach 95 g / km of CO2. To this proposal is added the one that comes from the Centro Studi Promotor and its president Gian Primo Quagliano who suggests to brush up on the incentive formula that was used in 1997. Then the State, within a pre-established grid, intervened with a sum equal to the discount applied from the dealer on the price of the car. The incentive, therefore, was amplified by the private stimulus and state intervention was, after all, limited. The result, in economic terms, was on the one hand the increase in the national GDP of 0.4% (source Banca d’Italia) and on the other the tax revenue was high: 1,400 billion lire (over 723 million euros) net of incentives.

AID TO COMPANIES Federauto, the association that brings together dealers, calls for measures to be taken to leave liquidity to companies (around 150,000 jobs are at stake here) with tax breaks and possible CIG for employees to be able to start again and overcome the crisis. Furthermore, the whole world of the Italian car asks the Government for measures to align the taxation of company cars with the European one and also incentives for the most recent used cars so that the national car fleet can be renewed faster, with an average of over 11 years old: one of the oldest in Europe.


ALL BLOCKED But what if someone, in these long days stuck in the house, wants to buy a new car? He practically cannot do it. Instead, you can start the procedures on the web using the official websites of the Houses, those of the dealerships and also the specialized ones. Here, in addition to choosing and configuring the model as you wish, you can enter into pre-contracts which will then be finalized when the emergency has passed or the security measures have been mitigated. The electronic route is currently the only one that can be traveled and, according to experts, the one that “after” will take on absolute importance.

STATE ADVANTAGES With the Cura Italia decree, the government has already put in place some advantages for citizens-drivers and these are benefits that mainly concern the bureaucratic part. License deadlines, driving licenses and deadlines for taking driving exams have been extended. All technical requirements (revisions, tests and mandatory controls) have also been extended for both private cars and commercial / industrial vehicles. For the stamp, the situation is more fluid. The decision on the postponement of the regional jurisdiction deadline. Some regions have established the extension of the deadlines during the emergency, others have not expressed themselves so that the tax must be paid on time.

INSURANCE The car stops, if all goes well, in the garage, otherwise it waits for us on the street. For insurance runs! The Cura Italia decree granted a 15-day margin of validity of the contract beyond the deadline. And this is a first advantage for everyone. There are those who suggest to suspend the warranty during the period of non-use of the vehicle, but it should be remembered that, if it can be done (not all policies allow it), if you choose this mandatory solution that the vehicle is parked in a private area otherwise an offense is committed. Then there are the “spontaneous” initiatives, such as that of Unipol which “gives” a month of validity of the policy to its policyholders. But this depends on the good will of the individual companies.


April 15, 2020 (change April 15, 2020 | 3:03 pm)


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