Italy - Country Commercial Guide
Automotive Sector
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The automotive sector is one of Italy’s main industries and employs 268,300 workers. Latest available data (December 2022) show that in 2022, the automotive sector’s turnover was €92.7 billion, which was 9.3% of Italy’s manufacturing turnover and 5.2% of Italy’s GDP. The conversion from thermal engines to electromobility (hybrid and electric) is reshaping the sector and may offer opportunities for U.S. vehicle component, charging infrastructure, and diagnostic equipment manufacturers. Major changes in the circulating stock may also drive the development of the aftermarket sector in Italy.

Leading Sub-Sectors


In 2022, 782,629 vehicles (486,111 cars, 234,798 light commercial vehicles, and 61,720 trucks and buses) were produced in Italy. 1,335,487 new cars, 9.5% fewer than in the prior year, were registered in 2022. The leading brands were the Stellantis Group (35.2% of the market), followed by the Volkswagen Group (16%), and the Renault Group (9.7%). In January 2021, FCA and PSA merged and became Stellantis, one of the world’s largest automotive groups. 463,832 Stellantis units were registered in Italy in 2022 compared to 551,439 units in 2021. The Ford Motor Company and Tesla maintained their market share, with 74,130 (5.6%) and 5,600 (0.4%) units, respectively, registered in 2022. 2023 data through July indicates market growth.

In 2022, following what seems to be a long-term trend, gasoline and diesel car registrations continued to fall, while registrations for hybrid cars grew. By fuel, the market shares were 34.1% for hybrid cars, 27.5% for gasoline cars, 20% for diesel cars, 9.7% for LPG and methane-fueled cars, and 8.8% for rechargeable cars (electric + plug-in hybrid).

In numbers, sales of gasoline cars reached 366,822 units (16.2% fewer than in 2021) and sales of diesel cars reached 266,667 units (20.1% fewer than in 2021). Total alternative-fueled vehicles reached 701,997 units compared to 698,215 units in 2021. While sales of LPG cars reached 118,791 units (10.2% over 2021), sales of methane-fueled cars fell significantly (down 66% to 70,724 units). Sales of hybrid cars increased 6.4% to 454,989 units, while sales of rechargeable vehicles were down 14.5% at 117,483 units. Only 11 hydrogen vehicles were sold. Sales of light commercial vehicles (up to 3.5. tons) were down 13% at 160,830 units in 2022. However, the most recent data (July 2023) shows that the market is growing: 2023 sales through July are 8.8% more than in 2022.

The most recent national incentive scheme, which is valid for the 2022-2024 period and varies according to a vehicle’s environmental impact (in terms of CO2 grams per km), supports purchases of zero- and low-emission vehicles (electric, plug-in hybrids and low-impact endothermic). Moreover, limits on the entry of thermal cars into city centers are helping to drive the transition to electric and hybrid vehicles. Financial support is received upon purchase of a new vehicle and varies depending on whether the old vehicle is scrapped. Incentives are expected to sustainably increase mobility and stimulate the automotive market; however, incentives to buy electric vehicles are not enough to support this change in mobility. In fact, the average age of cars in Italy is 12.2 years and that for light commercial vehicles is 14 years.

A suitable charging infrastructure is needed to allow people to charge their vehicles quickly and safely. The number of charging points in Italy is growing rapidly (45,220 units in August 2023 compared to 36,772 units at the end of 2022), but the infrastructure is quite concentrated and mostly located in six Italian regions (Lombardy, Piedmont, Latium, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, and Tuscany), limiting use of these vehicles outside areas with charging infrastructure. The circulating stock of hybrid and electric cars reached 1,715,000 units (4% of all cars) in 2022. The development of electric models is changing investments by component manufacturers. A recent survey showed that almost 30% of component manufacturers had electric and/or hybrid vehicles as their main production focus.


The two- and three-wheeler sector in Italy produced 341,190 units in 2022, up from 293,850 units in 2021.

Italy is one of the most important European markets for motorcycles. In 2022, sales of motorcycles totaled 291,661 vehicles (similar to 2021), making Italy first in Europe. In addition, more than 6.7 million motorcycles were circulating just in Italy. Sales of smaller motorcycles (under 50cc) were 21,245 units, a 13.3% increase from 2021. 2022 sales of electric motorbikes and scooters approached 16,000 units. The need for individual mobility and the lower purchase price and operating costs compared to cars have boosted this market.

2023 data through July indicates growth in the market (240,428 units, up 16.8% compared to 2022). Sales of smaller motorcycles are increasing 24.6% over 2022 and sales of electric vehicles (16,000 units) increased nearly 60%. National financial incentives to buy electric and hybrid vehicles will be in place through 2024.

Aftermarket Accessories

Small importers dominate the distribution channels in the market for automotive accessories and specialty equipment. U.S. products and new technology are well received and accepted by local companies. Competition from local and foreign competitors is strong in most business areas, but opportunities exist for products with cutting-edge technology. Major changes in the circulating stock will likely affect the automotive aftermarket sector. Some experts believe that the different features of hybrid (especially electric) vehicles will increase the need for diagnostic and testing tools.

The aftermarkets for the motorcycle and automotive sectors feature broadly similar distribution channels. However, customers in the motorcycle sector require different high-tech content and design features when buying helmets, suits, boots, etc. There is also a sizable market for custom motorcycles.


Opportunities exist for electric vehicle (EV) software systems, including charging station software; EV battery technologies; EVs; electric and hybrid bicycles, scooters and motorcycles; diagnostics and testing instruments, and vehicle technology.


EICMA (bicycles and motorcycles), Milan, November 2024

Motor Bike Expo, Verona, January 19-21, 2024

Autopromotec (automotive aftermarket), Bologna, May 21-24, 2025

U.S. Commercial Service Italy:

Andrea Rosa (Mr.), Automotive Commercial Specialist

U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Consulate Milan

Tel: +39 02 6268 8523