STAFF REPORTER

MADRID
LAST month, 2'164 cars were sold in the Balearics, an increase of 31.8 percent in comparison with October in 2008, said car manufacturers' association “Anfac”, and dealerships association, “Ganvam” yesterday, but there has been a decrease in accumulated sales in the region over the first 10 months of the year.

At a national level, there were 98'202 cars sold last month, an increase of 26.4 percent on the number sold during October last year. As such, the growth in the car sales industry in the Balearics during October has exceeded results across the country as a whole.

It would seem the car sales market in Spain is registering its second consecutive month of growth, following a rise of 16 percent in September - the first upturn in 17 months. However, the news is not all good. In terms of accumulated sales from January to October this year, the Balearics has registered a downturn of 34.8 percent in comparison with the same period last year, sliding from the 29'231 vehicles sold in 2008 to 19'050 so far this year.

AID PACKAGE NEEDS TO BE MAINTAINED

At a national level, there were 775'378 cars and all-purpose vehicles sold during the first 10 months of the year. The figure represents a decline of 24.4 percent in comparison with the same period in 2008. So in this case, the downturn in accumulated sales in the Balearics from January to October this year is greater than the state average. Both Anfac and Ganvam joined forces yesterday in acknowledging that a government aid package which has triggered the ailing car sales industry in Spain into life at a time of recession needs to continue to keep the signs of recovery going. Following calls earlier this year by both associations to help the crisis-stricken car industry, an agreement had been reached between Central and regional governments and the car manufacturer to provide subsidies to the tune of up to 2'000 euros for each new car purchased. Many people who had otherwise put buying a car on the “back burner” whilst prioritising their income, rose to the bait of a subsidy which was not to be sneezed at. The measure proved effective in “moving” stock which had simply been accumulating in dealership showrooms.

On the downside, purchases made by hire car companies fell by 29 percent last month. The accumulated figures for this sector from January to October were down by 58.5 percent due to problems businesses have been having in securing credits from banks at a time of recession. Economic difficulties have meant that car fleets are not being replaced.

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