Cardinals (Unrae): no more delays, immediately the platform to book incentives

In April the car market recorded for the tenth month in a row a double-digit decline: another collapse after the physiological recovery in the months of March-June 2021 due to the freezing of registrations during the closure of 2020. In April, the “gap” of registrations was more than 48 thousand samples compared to April 2021 and over 77 thousand compared to April 2019, the last “normal” year before the coronavirus pandemic. In the four-month period, on the other hand, the shortage was almost 156 thousand copies compared to 2021 and almost 274 thousand compared to 2019. A crisis further exacerbated by the advertising effect of the incentives, whose decree, signed by Prime Minister Mario Draghi on 6 April is not yet has been published in the Official Gazette. At this point, Andrea Cardinali, CEO of Unrae, tells Quattroruote, the hope is that in the legal time, ie. The Court’s preventive check of legitimacy, “the bureaucratic times for the development of the booking platform and online publication of the application’s frequently asked questions. The Ministry of Economic Development”, warns Cardinali, “must put them online at the same time as Dpcm is published in the Official Gazette”.

Cardinals, are we facing a kind of deep coma from which we can not see the way out?
The numbers are staggering, but there is nothing surprising in the end. On the eve of the entry into force of the incentives, the expected effect is undoubtedly felt. No one registers anything that is not strictly necessary. Currently, what is excluded from the incentives and what can not be postponed is registered. That said, we cannot help but emphasize that this situation of uncertainty cannot continue.

In what sense?
The legal times for the publication of Dpcm in the Official Gazette are what they are. But the hope is that the bureaucratic time to set up the booking platform and put the application Faqs online will not be added. The Ministry of Economic Development should publish frequently asked questions at the same time as Dpcm appears in Statstidende. There are some interpretation issues that need to be addressed and it is important that the picture is clear right away. That is the appeal we feel we are making to the government at this time.

Historically, however, the technicians put their hand to the platform after its publication in Gazzetta …
Our feeling is that they are waiting for the decree, that is, to follow the usual practice of only working with the technical aspects after publication, which usually takes a few weeks. The problem is that there are differences between the 2021 and 2022 incentive rules, and this step is not that simple. The risk of going far beyond the release date is real. I would therefore like to renew the call to move forward.

Ten weeks have passed since the Prime Minister announced that car incentives would arrive. Is the accumulation of pre-orders or pre-contracts in the dealers quantifiable? Is there a risk of a click day in the range 61-135 g / km?
Click day is around the corner.

Is there a risk that someone who is convinced they have seized the bonus may be left out immediately?
The risk of a customer signing a contract without being sure of the incentives has always been there. So much so that someone inserts a special disclaimer in the contracts. As it should be, because it is a contract between private individuals who depend on a third party who is the state.

And in the other bands, on the other hand, which horizon threatens?
There should not be the big problems this year. Funds could be scarce in the fall in the range of 0-20, but even progress in the range of 21-60. There is at least the possibility of transferring between the different funds with additional Dpcm, on this front we are not worried. For the following years, however, we know and have already announced that the funds will be largely insufficient to follow the growth of the car market with the plug.

The market goes roughly in these two bands, which have no duty to be scrapped. Is there still a transfer effect of the 2021 incentives?
Yes, and it has become really difficult to comment on the market with the current delivery times. It is not known what depends on the demand and what on the supply.

Let’s try. In terms of channels, private individuals are collapsing, while long-term leases are holding up and market shares are rising. And renting a car also collects allowances …
Long-term lease is historically stable compared to other channels, showing great resistance to market shock. The short term fluctuates a lot on its own, it is very seasonal and in April it performed worse than the market, also because it is suffering from the supply crisis in particular. Private individuals are at an all-time low if one disregards the lockdown period.

Is it the effect of waiting for incentives?
Yes, it must also be said that in April there were two working days fewer than in 2021, but now the impact on the number of days is very small compared to previous years. Today, I feel I can say that this variable does not weigh too much on the market trend. Also because a good portion of the sign-ups are registered in the last two days of the month. Whether it’s the last two of a month at 20 or a month at 22, it changes a bit.

What numbers are we talking about?
In the last two days of April, 29,300 cars out of almost 98,000 were registered.

How many of these are self-registrations?
I can tell you that the self-registration percentage for the houses affiliated with Unrae is only 28.5%. While Unrae affiliates in the overall market account for 62%.

Unrae data shows that 17% of the cars registered by long-term rental companies actually go to private individuals. What impact will the exclusion of companies, including rental companies, have on the latter from incentives?
The exclusion of legal persons from the incentives also screams because private individuals who choose to rent are punished (but not those who choose leasing). If you wanted to prevent the zero km registered by the dealers with the incentives without scrapping, the restriction of 12 months’ content possession of the Dpcm would have been sufficient. And it is certainly not provable that companies will continue to buy electricity even without incentives: so far, they have benefited from them, although it is not known to what extent, and certainly their exclusion will have negative consequences. The real motivation for this measure is, if anything, to make the funds last longer. But it will no longer work in 2023. And let us in any case not give up hope of getting the decree changed.

Is there this option?
I do not know. I know, however, that if legal entities remain excluded, the issue of VAT on mixed-use company cars will no longer be elusive. After 30 years of VAT penalties, companies can not be further disadvantaged by being excluded from incentives. It is no longer possible to postpone a tax reform that has a respite.

However, a tax reform is not easy at the moment. Parliament is working on the tax delegation, and the government needs this tool to redesign all the architecture …
True, but the government can still intervene on a particular front, even without delegation. The proposal we presented to the Executive Board, ie the total right to deduct for cars 0-20 g / km, 80% for 21-60 and 50% for 61-135, would cost just 400 million instead of the billion it would be up. to us if we align sic a simpliciter with the current legislation in Europe. We have received support from the entire supply chain, including the leaders of corporate fleets.

Let’s go back to the market. What do you currently anticipate for 2022?
We expect 1.4 million sign-ups, but that is an extremely rough forecast. There are many variables: the war in Ukraine, the microchip crisis, inflation, economic uncertainty, the rise in bills and fuel …

So the incentives will be of no use?
The problem is that the effects of the incentives, which came into force in May with a large delay in expectations, are starting to show on the registrations in late autumn. It will also be a problem for the state, which will only start collecting VAT at the end of the year. If you do not invoice, the state does not collect the tax.

There is also a price problem: cars cost more and big discounts are no longer available …
Prices are driven by three-digit increases in raw materials, which houses cannot fully absorb. The problem, in fact, is the economic availability of families and the propensity to spend. This 6% inflation scenario is very worrying for the purchase of durable goods.

Maybe producers should do more on the price front given the maximum profits in 2021 …
Manufacturers’ profits – moreover, linked to cost optimization actions and not just to revenue – are global and not linked to the Italian market, which weighs only 14% of the European market: there is no direct link, so I find it inappropriate to make any link.

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