Registrations in Spain jumped 49 percent in August to 107,692, according to industry association ANFAC, as automakers rushed to clear out vehicle stocks ahead of the introduction of the new WLTP testing regime on Sept. 1.
August had the same number of working days as the same month in 2017.
All sales channels had robust increases. Registrations by companies increased 86 percent to 43,730, sales to rental car companies jumped 82 percent to 6,505 and demand by private customers was up 27 percent to 57,457.
The introduction of WLTP testing for type approval spurred "aggressive commercial policies" to unload stocks, ANFAC spokeswoman Noemi Navas, said.
The August spike likely will lead to lower sales increases during the rest of the year, especially in September and October, ANFAC said in a release.
Dealers last month self-registered 20,000 cars, helping automakers to reduce stocks, Spanish dealer association FACONAUTO said in a news release. Car buyers likely will benefit from WLTP discounting until the end of the year, it said.
Kia, Fiat win
Kia and Fiat were the biggest winners from the sales boom. Kia's sales rose by 138 percent while Fiat's sales were up 135 percent. The two brands ranked No. 2 and No. 3 respectively for the month, up from eighth and 10th places. Market leader Renault brand saw sales rise 85 percent.
- See PDF, above right, for August and 8-month sales by automaker and brand
The aging Kia Carens minivan was the unlikely top-selling model for the month with sales soaring 677 percent to 5,114 registrations in August. This monthly tally almost equaled the Carens' 5,398 volume in the first 7 months and accounted for more than half of the Kia registrations in August.
Among other major brands, Volkswagen underperformed the market with a 28 percent increase, with Tiguan sales up 65 percent so that the SUV overtook the Golf hatchback, whose sales fell 7.8 percent, as the brand's bestseller.
Volkswagen Group's Seat brand registrations increased 43 percent, helped by strong demand for the Arona and Ateca SUVs.
Toyota sales were up just 8 percent.
Within PSA Group, Peugeot sales were up 19 percent, Citroen 33 percent and Opel 23 percent.
Ford registrations increased 39 percent
Among premium brands, Alfa Romeo and Jaguar more than tripled sales with 277 percent and 272 percent increases, respectively. German premium brands had mixed results. Audi registrations jumped 54 percent while BMW sales rose just 1.4 percent. Mercedes-Benz's volume declined by 13 percent.
Diesel sales in Spain recovered in August to take a 37.4 percent market share, compared with 36.0 percent in July, although it remained very far from diesel's 49.4 percent share in August 2017.
Gasoline cars took 56.2 percent of the market, compared with 57.6 percent in July and 44.7 percent in August 2017. Hybrid and battery electric share was down to 6.3 percent from 6.9 percent in August 2017.
Total Spanish market sales in the first 8 months are up 15 percent to 973,542.