Spanish car sales plunge 50 percent in July: trade data

29th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

New car registrations plunged 50 percent in July over the same time last year due to the end of government subsidies for auto purchases and a sales tax rise rise, car makers association Anfac said Thursday.

Anfac, which will publish the number of car registrations for the month on Monday, called for an "urgent meeting" with Spain's industry minister to study "possible solutions to this serious situation," it said in a statement.

In June new car sales rose 25.6 percent to 121,483 units over the same month last year, boosted by cash-for-clunkers subsidies that ran out this month and buying ahead of a sales tax increase of two percentage points that came into effect on July 1.

In May 2009 the government began offering subsidies of up to 2,000 euros (2,600 dollars) to help boost auto sales but the program expired earlier this month when the money set aside for it was exhausted.

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 six months of 2010 new car registrations were up 39.5 percent to 604,161 units over the same time last year.

© 2010 AFP

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