Spain auto sales soar 44.6 percent in May: trade data
New car sales soared by 44.6 percent in Spain in May from the figure for the same month last year on the back of a government incentive programme which is about to end, industry data showed Tuesday.
A total of 102,873 new cars were registered during the month, up from 71,160 in May 2008, its ninth straight monthly increase, the Spanish car manufacturers' association ANFAC said in a statement.
It attributed the rise to the government's subsidy of up to 2,000 euros (2,500 dollars) for new car purchases which came into effect in May last year and which is due to expire when the 100 million euros alloted for the programme is exhausted, probably in the next few weeks.
Car sales also got a boost from shoppers seeking to avoid a rise of two percentage points in the value added tax which will come into effect on July 1.
But ANFAC said that there was a 20-percent drop in orders from car dealerships in May in a sign that sales of new cars will, probably from July, as the sales tax comes into effect and the incentive programme ends.
Spain posted a 17.9-percent decline in new car registrations last year, following a record drop of 28 percent in 2008 as the country's worst recession in decades caused consumers to curb spending, especially on big ticket items.
During the first five months of 2010 car sales in Spain rose 43.5 percent to 482,677 units from the same time last year, ANFAC said.
© 2010 AFP