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New vehicle sales in Italy declined by 26.7% in March, making the country the weakest major car market in Europe. Notably, while car sales declined, alternative forms of mobility such as public transport and carpooling grew strongly in popularity.

Munich, Germany, May 11, 2012 --( New vehicle sales in Italy declined by 26.7% in March, making the country the weakest major car market in Europe [1]. While this may present a worrying trend for car manufacturers, the good news is that many Italians are opting to use more sustainable means of transport such as carpooling, car sharing, bike sharing and public transport. This year, the number of passengers using public transport rose by about 30 percent in cities such as Milan, Rome and Turin [2]. (, the world’s largest ridesharing network, also reported a 76% increase in rides in Italy compared to last year.

“Rising fuel prices, smart phone technology and increased environmental sensibility are all factors encouraging Italians to find smart mobility options,” says Markus Barnikel, CEO of According to Barnikel, support from local government and grass-roots organisations has been a key influencer fueling the growth of carpooling in Italy. Governmental organisations and mobility agencies in Parma, Piacenza and Bolzano are leading the way by encouraging carpooling in their local communities. (the company’s Italian platform) also recently announced a partnership with Corrente in Movimento (CIMO) - an Italian association that promotes the use of electric cars and supports the development of sustainable mobility. This year, from May-October, the organisation plans a green trip around Italy to encourage public discussion of smart cities, renewable energy and pollution.

“We are really very happy to be a sponsor of CIMO. Corrente in Movimento is a great initiative to help inform people about the advantages of sustainable mobility and to show them how they can travel greener and cheaper,” says Daniela Mililli, Product Manager of

With more than 1 billion cars in the world, traffic congestion is becoming an increasingly problematic issue – causing significant fuel wastage, increased pollution and costing billions to the world economy. Countries like Italy show us that economic challenges can be a great opportunity to start finding smarter, cheaper and greener solutions.

About is the world's largest ridesharing network with 3.7 million registered users and daily access to more than 650,000 transport opportunities. offers reliable ridesharing opportunities that are affordable and easy to access. Drivers and passengers can book a seat online and rate each other for additional convenience and safety. Rides can be accessed from a computer, a mobile phone (iPhone, Android) or a social network (Facebook). By sharing a ride, people save gas and money, reduce carbon emissions and meet new friends. Thanks to, 772,000 tons of C02 and 386 million liters of gas have been saved; not counting the millions of savings by users and the thousands of friendships created (including more than 10 marriages!).

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Clea Baker

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