New car sales show growth, but still erratic

Photo: Itar-Tass / Scanpix
4/7/2015 3:36 PM
Category: Economy

The number of new cars sold in Estonia, long one of the indicators for economic health, made a seven-year record in March, after a dire February.

A total of 1,946 new vehicles were sold in March, 14 percent more than during the same month last year, and a record since 2008.

“New car sales are like a roller coaster ride this year – up, down, no trend. Changes to VAT laws and the ensuing confusion have played their part, which translates into a regression in the sale of larger passenger cars and SUVs compared to last year,” Arno Sillat, head of AMTEL said, Delfi reported.

Sillat said that the sale of utility vehicles, for businesses, has increased the most, up 36 percent compared to last year, adding that this points to a growing economy.

Due to a slow February, the overall number of cars sold in 2015 only slightly edges out the figure from the first three months of 2014. 4,793 new vehicles were sold in Estonia in the first quarter of the year.

New car sales peaked last October, just before a new law curbed VAT returns on business vehicle purchases. Over 2,000 new cars were sold in October, passing the 2,000-mark for the first time since 2008.

The overall record stems from 2007, when over 30,000 new cars were sold. That figure dropped to around 8,000 in 2009, before beginning a slow climb up. Around 20,000 new cars were sold last year.

J.M. Laats

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