Spain may extend subsidies for car buyers
MADRID (Reuters) -- Spain's government is considering extending a car-buying subsidy program introduced last year to stimulate a flagging market hit by recession and a September tax hike, Energy, Industry and Tourism Minister Jose Maria Soria said.
"The plan we have in place now has been a success and the government is studying extending it. But first we will need to find the necessary resources for it," Soria said Wednesday at a news conference in Madrid.
New-car registrations fell 13 percent to 699,589 last year in Spain, where one in four of the work force is jobless and consumer confidence has plummeted in the face of harsh austerity measures and economic uncertainty. The sales figure was the lowest since industry association Anfac began keeping records in 1989.
The government's new-car subsidy scheme introduced on Oct. 1 helped slow the slide in car sales after a hike in value-added tax on Sept. 1, however, new-car registrations in December dropped 23 percent, after a 20 percent fall in November. The total European market fell 16 percent in December.Contact Automotive News