Crisis-hit carmakers avoid Spanish auto show
Main car manufacturers steer clear of an annual auto show because of plummeting car sales in Spain.
MADRID – The main car manufacturers in Spain will not take part in an annual auto show in Barcelona slated for May because of the slump in auto sales, the country's automakers association ANFAC said Thursday.
"The celebration of these types of events does not fit with the very serious situation the sector is in," the group, whose members include General Motors, Ford, Renault, Nissan and Volkswagen, said in a statement.
Organisers of the auto show, scheduled for 9-17 May, said they still planned to go ahead with the event. The motor show drew about one million visitors last year and over 170 exhibitors.
Car sales plunged 28 percent in Spain in 2008 over the previous year, the largest-ever yearly decline, as consumers cut back spending with the country heading into its first recession in 15 years.
ANFAC forecast Wednesday that new car registrations in Spain in 2009 will fall to 900,000 this year, a 23 percent drop over 2008.
Spain is the third-biggest car producer in Europe after Germany and France, according to the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers Association.
[AFP / Expatica]