Valencia region new car sales rose by 10 per cent in 2016
The end of Spanish scrappage deals affected the market recovery in December
There have been fears in the Spanish automobile sector that the ending of the government’s “PIVE” scrappage deals last autumn could put a serious dent into the recovery of the market for new vehicles, and the figures for December appear to confirm that this was the case in the Comunidad Valenciana as numbers fell slightly in comparison with 2015.
The data for the last month of the year show that in the region of Valencia 8,977 new vehicles were registered, a decrease of 0.9%. However, this brought the total for 2016 up to 126,576, with the consolidation of the economic recovery leading to a year-on-year increase of 10.6%.
However, the country’s car manufacturers, salesman and concessionaires are adamant that there ought to be further growth, and that the market in Spain currently has the potential to provide 1.3 million sales per year. They point out that sales have been harmed by the end of the PIVE deals, and that the average age of cars on the roads of Spain is still almost 12 years whereas analysts concur that in a fully normal market a figure of around 8 years would be more appropriate.
The eight PIVE schemes resulted in around 1.2 million cars being withdrawn from circulation, their average age being 16 years, but the continuing tendency for Spanish vehicles to be over 10 years old is held to be a contributing factor to last year having seen the first increase in the number of road deaths in Spain for a number of years. There are now worries that private car owners may be deterred from purchasing by the lack of government subsidies for the scrappage of older vehicles, and these worries are further fuelled by the fact that in December the number of sales to individuals increased by only 0.6%.
The breakdown of the data also show that Volkswagen was only the third most popular make of car in 2016, having been removed from top spot by Renault and Opel, no doubt partly as a result of the exhaust software scandal. The most popular models during the year were the Citroën C4 (34,615 sales), the Seat León (33,653) and the Seat Ibiza (31,836).