New car registrations in Italy will reach 2.22 million by the end of 2003, compared to 2.27 million units registered in 2002, Italian automotive industry association ANFIA has said.

In the last months of 2003, Italy's demand for new car is increasing, revived mainly by better marketing strategies of the car makers and the interest of the consumers in new models, launched recently on the market, such as Fiat Panda and Lancia Ypsilon, ANFIA said.

A sharp year-on-year drop in car registrations is expected in December 2003, in comparison with the same month of 2002, when new car sales showed a 51 pct year-on-year increase, ANFIA said.

In November 2003, the demand was higher for diesel-powered vehicles, which reached a market share of 52.9% of the Italian car market, ANFIA added.