Still Some Love for Internal Combustion in Italy

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
still some love for internal combustion in italy

Nations like Germany might treat internal combustion engines like a shirtless man lighting up a Marlboro in a neonatal intensive care unit, but some countries still feel that they have a place in the automotive landscape. Italy even plans to put public dollars behind their purchase.

When economies and industries are suffering, governments can sometimes do the unthinkable.

As reported by Reuters, Italy this week joined France and Germany into incentivizing car sales as a way of boosting both the economy and the country’s pandemic-hit auto sector. Unlike those countries, however, Italy won’t draw the line at only spiffing the purchase of green vehicles.

Italian consumers are not big on EVs; as such, the country’s government will extend incentives to the purchase of Euro 6-compliant internal combustion vehicles. These rides conform to the newest, most stringent emissions rules imposed by the European Union.

From Reuters:

Rome will offer buyers of Euro 6 vehicles with a price lower than 40,000 euros an incentive of 3,500 euros ($3,930), if they scrap cars that are 10 years old or more, according to the legislation voted on by the Lower House’s budget committee. The existing subsidies for electric and hybrid cars will also be bolstered.

The legislation will be in force from August until December, with the costs to be shared between the government and car dealers.

The coronavirus hit Italy suddenly and hard, forcing the first emergency lockdown seen in the Western world. Italy’s car sales plunged; its factories shut down amid growing COVID-19 cases and weakened demand. A great number of vehicles built before the lockdown remain unsold, said Marco Opipari, an analyst at Fidentiis Equities.

“If you want to address this backlog of unsold cars and provide oxygen to the industry, you need to support purchases of combustion engine cars too,” he said.

And so Italy will, with conditions attached to give the internal combustion subsidies a bit of a green edge.

Join the conversation
  • Conundrum Conundrum on Jul 06, 2020

    Ah, the land of FIAT. Making the world's crappiest cars for 75 years. That coincides with the end of WW2. One thinks back to sometimes gloriously styled rustbuckets filled with brio and Italian electrics, more than a match for Lucas on any objective level and wonder, What's it all about, Agnelli?

    • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Jul 08, 2020

      At the end of WW2 Italy was broke and its infrastructure destroyed. In 1950 the Italian Lira was 620 to the dollar, and the minimum wage was 225 lira per hour - 36 cents. Fiat build thin-metal, lightweight, fuel-efficient, cheap cars Italians could afford. It took Italy nearly half that 75 years to get back to where they were in 1939.

  • RHD RHD on Jul 06, 2020

    Before they scrap them, they should consider exporting the more interesting ones. It's strange how low a used car goes for in Great Britain once it's about eight or ten years old. By American standards, it's just broken in. I'd love to get a European classic for pennies on the dollar. They should look at bring some money into the country instead of just recycling perfectly good and interesting vehicles.

    • DownUnder2014 DownUnder2014 on Jul 11, 2020

      Agreed. Japan and the UK have strict roadworthy inspections, which are annual. This contributes to cars being cheap. I think it also costs money to scrap cars too, hence why older cars are exported.

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