Second-hand car sales were down 2.3% in February and only 2,501 cars were sold in March leaving the Sector firmly in the red.
According to MSI data collected by the employer of Faconauto dealers, sales in the Balearic Islands are down 33.3% compared to last year.
Dealers in Majorca say the coronavirus crisis has forced families to think twice about what vehicle to buy and how much to spend.
“People are buying used cars for €2,500-€5,000 euros, whereas they would usually spend an average of €6,000-€8,000, so we’ve noticed a drop but at least people are buying cars,” said Casa del Coche owner, Tavita Valentí.
Dealers resumed activity in the summer, but sales were hard to come by.
"June was a slow month with very few visits, but July was strong so sales were equal to the same month in 2019,” said 1000 Used Vehicles owner, Miguel Miñano, who pointed out that foreign buyers are leading the way.
“In the last few months we’ve sold a lot of cars to foreign residents," he says.
“We’ve had a very good streak, July was bad in terms of sales, but August was a good month," says Automóviles Estelrich Manager, Jaime Estelrich.
"Sales of pre-owned vehicles have recovered faster, and in our case reached the same levels as 2019,” says Nissan Commercial Director, José Pérez-Trillo. “In August we sold 48 cars compared to 50 during the same time last year and in Ibiza and Minorca sales increased year-on-year.”
Thousands of people are out of work because of the coronavirus crisis and those who still have jobs are loath to spend money because of fears about the future.
That’s forced car dealers to slash prices to pull in customers and secure sales.
"We've tried to lower second-hand vehicle prices in order to sell cars quickly," admits Estelrich.
“Clients are safeguarding their savings instead of spending them because of the coronavirus crisis and people are buying second-hand cars instead of new vehicles,” explains Pérez-Trillo.
By the end of August, 3,584 second-hand cars had been sold in the Balearics. That’s a drop of 11.2%, which is similar to July, but more positive than the 17.6% slump in June.
At National level the market grew by 3.4%, according to Faconauto and the Balearic Islands and Melilla were the only Communities where sales fell by more than 10%.
Data for September isn’t available yet.