Spain’s government pledges to boost green car sales
The government will subsidy purchase of cars with carbon dioxide emissions of less than 120 grams per kilometre.5 June 2008
MADRID - Spain's flagging automobile industry got something of a boost on Wednesday as the government pledged to introduce measures to encourage new car sales.
In his first appearance before Congress, newly-appointed Industry Minister Miguel Sebastián said the government would subsidise the financial costs of buying a new more environmentally-friendly car provided an existing vehicle of 15 years or more is scrapped.
The measure applies only to cars with carbon dioxide emissions of less than 120 grams per kilometre. Sebastáin said the so-called Vive plan would come into effect within 45 days and would run for two years.
The car industry has been clamouring for government assistance to jump-start the sector where sales of new vehicles dropped 14.3 percent in the first five months of this year after plunging 24.3 percent in May alone.
While welcoming the initiative, associations in the sector said the proposed measures fell short of what was required to shore up an industry which has felt the brunt of a rapidly slowing economy with higher unemployment and sagging consumer confidence.
While the Industry Minister estimated the incentives would apply to 120,000 vehicles the National Association of Car and Truck Manufacturers put the figure at only 80,000.
[El Pais / Adrián Soto / Expatica]