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Spanish passenger car market grows during 2018
The passenger car market in Spain has grown by 7.0% year on year (y/y) during 2018, according to the latest data published by the Spanish Association of Passenger Car and Truck Manufacturers (Asociación Española de Fabricantes de Automóviles Turismos y Camiones: ANFAC). During the year, sales have grown from 1,234,932 units to 1,321,438 units. However, there was a further decline in December, down 3.5% y/y to 99,291 units.
Outlook and Implications
It has been a tumultuous year for the passenger car market in Europe thanks largely to the introduction of WLTP testing certification at the start of September. The Spanish passenger car market still grew during the full year, with its performance having been boosted by all three sales channels. Company car registrations saw the biggest percentage growth in 2018, increasing by 13.6% y/y, while registrations by rental car fleets grew by 5.7% y/y. Registrations to private customers were more modest with an increase of 3.7% y/y. This type of customer has also caused the drag on the Spanish passenger car market in December, as demand fell by 11.2% y/y. ANFAC said that this is likely to be down to uncertainties in the market place leading to customers delaying purchasing decisions such as the prospect of weaker economic growth, reports of changes to the tax regime as well as concerns over the future of diesel. Indeed, Madrid (Spain) has just announced a ban on pre-2000 gasoline (petrol) and pre-2006 diesels from its city centre, while the Spanish government is said to be taking a long-term view on the future of combustion engine sales with a view to banning them eventually. Looking in to 2019, IHS Markit expects registrations to grow further during the year, but at an even weaker rate of around 3.3% y/y, although we do not expect a retreat to take place until 2021.
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