In 2018 a total of 60,041 new cars were sold in Croatia, up by 18.3 percent from 2017 and totalling almost 165 new cars every day, market research company Promocija Plus said on Monday, based on Interior Ministry data.
In 2017 Croatians had bought 50,769 new cars. In December 2018 alone, 2,412 new cars found owners, up by 12.4 percent year-on-year.
The best selling brand in 2018 was Volkswagen, with 8,932 cars sold and a 14.9 percent market share. Renault came in second with 5,805 cars sold and a 9.7 percent market share, while Czech-based Skoda was third, with 5,293 vehicles and a 8.8 percent share. These were followed by Opel in fourth place (5,212 new cars and a 8.7 percent share) and Suzuki in fifth (3,794 cars sold, or a 6.3 percent market share).
As for German high-end brands, in 2018 Croatians bought 1,804 Audis, 1,487 BMWs, 1,216 Mercedes-Benzes and 85 Porsches. Three Maseratis, one Ferrari, one Lotus, and one Rolls Royce vehicles were also sold.
In terms of car model, the most popular were compacts. The best selling model was Skoda Octavia (2,981 sold), followed by Renault Clio (2,599 units sold) and Volkswagen Golf (2,193 sold). Volkswagen's Polo came in fourth (2,162 sold) and Suzuki Vitara was fifth (1,720 sold).
In terms of fuelling technology, petrol cars had a 54.9 percent market share in 2018, followed by diesel-powered vehicles with 42.7 percent. Hybrids accounted for 1.4 percent of the market, gas-powered vehicles 0.8 percent, while merely 145 purely electric vehicles were sold in 2018, putting them at a 0.2 percent market share.
The growth in car sales is mainly attributed to tax code changes introduced in January that year, which made all vehicles sold at a retail price up to 150,000 kuna (€20,000) including VAT exempt from additional tax on vehicles. Cars in this price range account for about two thirds of all new car sales in 2018.