Spanish sales fall 13% as diesel woes continue

December 4, 2018 10:35 CET

Dealers blamed the “negative” climate around the car for a 13 percent fall in Spanish registrations in November.

New-car sales declined to 91,063, according to the industry association ANFAC, the third consecutive decrease after a 17 percent fall in September and a 6.6 drop percent in October.

The October and September declines were blamed on the Sept. 1 introduction of the EU’s new WLTP testing regime for new cars. This led automakers to flood dealerships with discounted models in August to clear out stocks, creating a 49 percent leap in sales during that month.

WLTP was not to blame for the November decline, Spanish dealer association FACONAUTO said. “It is due to the consumer pessimism generated by a negative climate around the car,” FACONAUTO said in a statement.

Consumers are worried about the threat of diesel bans to reduce air pollution in cities and even a complete ban on internal combustion engine cars at a future date.

The market is in a “difficult phase because of negative announcements about the future of fossil fuels,” dealer association GANVAM said.

The Spanish government circulated a draft document in November proposing a ban on the sale of diesel and gasoline cars by 2040 to counter climate change.

Diesel drop

Sales of diesels cars plunged 40 percent in November, reducing the powertrain’s market share to 30.5 percent from 32.8 percent in October and 44.6 percent in November 2017.

The share of gasoline-powered vehicles rose to 61.3 percent from 58.5 percent in October and 49.4 percent in November 2017. Hybrid and electric vehicles took an 8.2 market share, down slightly from 8.7 percent in September but up from 5.9 percent in October 2017.

Sales to rental companies fell 28 percent in November, while registrations by companies were down 12 percent and demand by private customers declined 11 percent.

FACONAUTO confirmed its forecast for the market to grow by 7 percent to 1.3 million this year. Sales in the first 11 months were up 8 percent to 1.22 million.

Brand winners, losers

Among volume brands, Volkswagen and its sister brands were among the best performers in November. Skoda sales grew by 18 percent, Seat was up 16 percent and VW brand sales increased 9.2 percent. All the brands have introduced new SUVs to benefit from demand for such vehicles.

Renault sales fell 38 percent and Fiat dropped 45 percent, while Ford registrations were down 5.9 percent.

Jeep registrations rose 89 percent helped by the new Compass, while Volvo sales were up 86 percent on the back of strong demand for the XC40 compact SUV XC40 and midsize XC60.

• Download PDF, above right, for November and year-to-date sales by brand.

PSA Group had a bad month with Peugeot sales down 1 percent, Citroen down 9.6 percent and Opel registrations falling by 31 percent.

Asian automakers also suffered falling volumes. Nissan sales fell 23 percent, Kia’s volume was down 11 percent and Hyundai 6.3 percent. Toyota sales declined by nearly 1 percent.

Among German premium brands, Mercedes-Benz posted a slight increase of 0.9 percent, while BMW sales fell 37 percent and Audi suffered a 47 percent drop.

You can reach Andrea Malan at amalan@autonews.com.

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