July 2, 2012 / 4:19 PM / 5 years ago

Italy June new car sales fall 24.4 percent

MILAN, July 2 (Reuters) - Italian new car sales fell 24.4 percent in June from the same month a year ago to 128,388 vehicles, Italy's Transport Ministry said on Monday, their lowest level since 1979.

Fiat's market share fell slightly to 30.7 percent in June, down from 31.6 percent in May 2012. High gasoline prices and a shrinking economy are keeping Italians away from showrooms.

In May, car sales dropped 14.3 percent.

During the first six months of this year, new car sales fell 19.7 percent, a result in line with the drop in the first quarter, when new car sales fell 20.9 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

Automotive research group Centro Studi Promotor confirmed its forecast of full year sales of 1.4 million cars, it said in a statement on Monday.

This year is shaping up to be even worse than 2011, when Italian car sales fell 10.8 percent to 1.74 million cars, dropping for the fourth year in a row. (Reporting by Jennifer Clark)

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