STAFF REPORTER FIGURES for car sales in the Balearic Islands last month fell by 49 percent in comparison with the same month in 2007. Manufacturers and car sales associations reported yesterday that results were slightly worse in the region than they were across the country as a whole where the average downturn stood at 48.8 percent. The associations confirmed that the fall-off in trade has been the worst in history with numbers of sales receding to 1983 levels.

The worst affected regions of Spain were Valencia (-59.2 percent); Andalucia (-58.5%); and Madrid (-53.2%). Least affected were the Basque Country (-23.5%); Asturias (-24.9%) and Castilla y Leon (-31.2%). All makes of cars have been affected by lack of business, but it has especially hit small-size vehicles.

Seventy percent of those sold last month were vehicles which run on diesel, the remainder functioning on petrol.