Romanian car dealer Radacini group estimates halved sales

Radacini group, dealer of carmakers Daewoo, Opel, Chevrolet, Mazda and Suzuki, could see 50 percent lower sales in the first quarter over the similar period last year, as an effect of the economic downturn, according to the sales manager, Nicolae Sorescu.
The group expects a 10 percent year-on-year advance of turnover for 2008. It reported 90 million euros business in 2007.

Construction works at a unit including sales, showroom and service in the southeastern city of Constanta are almost ready and the company will open it in August-September.

Radacini Group is one of the participanting dealers in the “Rabla” program through which people who give up their old cars receive a stimulus to buy a new one. Sorescu deems the number of cars established for the program should have been of 30,000 units instead of 60,000, so people would have received 7,600 lei instead of 3,800 lei.

Romania's government granted 91.4 million lei through the “Rabla” program last year, 76 percent of the funds assigned.

Radacini group has been present on the local market starting 1995.

Car sales on the local market lowered by 35 percent in January versus the same month of the previous year, following sharp decline of lending on the global financial crisis, the head of Romania's statistics body (INS), Vergil Voineagu said last month.

The car market was severely affected by the economic downturn and a weaker national currency which curbed demand. Romania's largest car producer Dacia had to close gates in December and January for a while, as the number of orders decreased and production shrank. The company now plans to export 75 percent of its output this year, in a bid to escape the crisis.

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