Monday, July 16, 2007

AP: Romania: New car sales up nearly 25 percent in first half of 2007

BUCHAREST, Romania: Sales of new cars rose 24.6 percent in the first six months of 2007 compared to the same period last year, with Renault-Dacia still the leader on the Romanian market, an industry group said Monday.

The Association for Automotive Producers and Importers said Renault's Romanian carmaker Dacia had a market share of 30 percent with about 51,000 cars sold, followed by other Renault models with 15,000 cars and Volkswagen with 11,600 cars.

Car exports were up 37 percent, reaching 58,700 cars, while Romanians bought more foreign cars, with imports up 55 percent, reaching 89,000 cars.

Sales of other vehicles also rose, with sales of heavy trucks up 174 percent, and buses up 100 percent compared to the first half of 2006.

Romania, which joined the European Union in January, introduced steep first registration charges for Romanians who want to buy second hand cars from other countries.

The European Union has warned however, that the charges are excessive and discriminate against second hand cars from other EU countries, and has ordered Romania to reduce the fees, which can reach up to €7,000 (US$9,500) — or face court action.

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