Spanish car sales skid 20.3% in November

Spanish new car sales shrank by 20.3 percent in the year to November, industry data showed Monday, despite a state-backed programme to boost purchases of energy-efficient autos.

The number of new cars licensed for the roads plummeted to 48,155 in November, down 12,240, or 20.3 percent from a year earlier, said the Spanish Association of Automobile Manufacturers (ANFAC).

Over the first 11 months of 2012 combined, new vehicle registrations dropped 12.6 percent from the same period last year to 648,392, the association said in a statement.

Nevertheless, sales were up a little from October's total of 44,873 and automobile manufacturers said a programme encouraging people to buy fuel-sparing cars had helped.

The 76-million-euro ($100-million) programme launched in October offers price cuts to buyers of energy-efficient vehicles who hand in a car more than 12 years old.

Under the so-called PIVE programme, people buying energy-efficient automobiles get a 2,000-euro reduction, half of it funded by the state and half of it paid for by the car makers.

More than 40,000 vehicles have been sold under the PIVE programme, which could run out of money in January, the National Association of Vendors of Automobiles, Repairs and Parts, GANVAM, said in the statement.

Car showrooms were hoping for an end-of-year sales boost to bring the 2012 total to about 700,000 automobile sales, GANVAM president Juan Antonio Sanchez Torres said.

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