Serbian car sales fell 29.7 percent in the first half from the same period a year ago to 12,985 vehicles.
Subcompacts selling for about 9,000 euros ($10,951) per unit accounted for half of the market, while luxury sedans remained stable at 10 percent, Milos Petrovic, the head of the Serbian Association of Vehicle Importers, said by phone today.
“Demand weakened, almost vanished for vehicles that sell for 14,000 to 20,000 euros,” Petrovic said. “It will take years before we come even close to the 2008 peak” of 59,000 cars and light pick-ups sold, he added.
Serbia reduced the customs tax on vehicles imported from the European Union, which it wants to join. Currently at 2.5 percent, the tax will be abolished next year, as part of Serbia’s removal of trade barriers with the 27-nation bloc. EU imports account for 90 percent of all cars sold in Serbia.
Local car manufacturing was revived last month with Fiat SpA (F)’s production of its 500L wagon model in the city of Kragujevac in central Serbia, which will be available on the local market in the third quarter.
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