Lower car sales lead to fuel market plunge in 2009Publish date: 04-02-2009
Major operators on the fuel retail market expect a significant drop in consumption this year in Romania, due to the economic crisis, which has affected the overall industry and especially the auto market.
LukOil Romania General Manager, Constantin Tampiza, told Business Standard that the local fuel market dropped 18 percent in January and that he estimates a 10 percent decline in sales by the end of the year.
According to Tampiza, the causes are "economic recession, lack of market liquidity, construction company blockage, and companies that have halted production," Tampiza said.
Rompetrol's Senior Retail Vice President, Eric Kish, estimates a 20 percent decline in sales this year. "Looking at our clients, we see that many are returning their cars to leasing companies. So they are not using fuel," Kish said.
Leasing companies have indeed faced a drop in business lately. Tiriac Leasing, one of the top players on this segment, has no statistics for contracts signed in January, but said that it financed goods worth €217.5 million in 2008, lower than the €224 mln in deals in 2007. The decline began in the second half of last year, when banks applied harsher lending conditions, a smaller first-time registration tax for second-hand cars was enforced, and the impact of the global crisis began to be felt in Romania.
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