Fiat’s new car registrations have fell in August. The carmaker is rapidly losing ground to its rivals, most worryingly in its domestic market, where registrations fell four times as much as the industry. This comes in spite of a relatively new model, and government intervention – there seems no end to the company’s downturn.

New car sales in Italy fell by 2.9% in August, but the country’s major domestic manufacturer Fiat saw its new registrations fall by 11.4% in the same month. Fiat has in the past relied on its domestic strength, but now this too is faltering.

The decline in sales comes despite the Italian government’s attempts to revive the fortunes of its largest manufacturer. In July, a measure was introduced that allowed consumers to avoid paying the vehicle license fee for three years when exchanging a car without a catalytic converter for a new car that would have one fitted. It was thought that Fiat’s high market share would see it benefit the most – this has not been the case.

Fiat’s domestic sales have now fallen by 20% for the year to date, with it market share slipping some 3% to 31.4%. The company had hoped that its new lower-medium car, the Stilo, would live up its promise of challenging Volkswagen‘s Golf and Ford’s Focus at the top of the sales charts, but this has been far from the case.

The continuing fall in the company’s fortunes is fuelling reports that General Motors will be expected to acquire the remaining 80% of Fiat that it does not yet own, under a contract at the time of GM’s initial stake-holding.

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