New-car sales in Spain rose 6.6 percent to 105,853 in December, boosted by an additional selling day and strong sales to rental companies.
Sales to rental companies jumped 49 percent, while registrations by companies (which include self-registrations by automakers and dealers) grew by 14 percent. Sales to private customers fell 6.9 percent.
Sales of gasoline-powered cars increased by 6.9 percent for a 57.7 percent share of the market, down 1.7 percent from December 2018. Registrations of diesel-powered vehicles were down 3.7 percent for a 29.1 percent share, 3.2 percent lower than December 2018.
Sales of electrified cars including full-electric and hybrid models plus vehicles powered by liquefied petroleum gas and compressed natural gas rose 39 percent to a 13.1 percent market share. Hybrid car sales grew 88 percent for a 10.7 market share.
The Seat Leon compact hatchback was the most popular model both during the month and the full year, followed by the Dacia Sandero small hatchback. The Seat Ibiza small hatchback was No. 3 in December, while the Nissan Qashqai took third place for the year.
Fiat brand registrations increased 62 percent because of a 300 percent rise in sales of the Panda minicar. Within the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group, Jeep registrations were down 23 percent while Alfa Romeo gained 5.1 percent.
Among Volkswagen Group brands, Skoda's registrations grew 54 percent and Seat gained 33 percent. VW brand's volume was up 2.4 percent and Audi posted a 25 percent increase.
Renault brand sales were down 12 percent, while sister brand Dacia suffered a 7 percent decline.
Within the PSA Group, Opel registrations dropped 36 percent, Peugeot sales were down 0.6 percent and Citroen gained 0.4 percent.
Asian brands had mixed results.
Kia posted a 58 percent jump, helped by the recently launched compact crossover XCeed. Sister brand Hyundai saw a 2.3 percent decline.
Mazda's registrations jumped 47 percent and Toyota's sales increased 20 percent, while Nissan's registrations fell 17 percent.
Among other brands, Mercedes-Benz sales were up 28 percent, while German rival BMW suffered a 19 percent drop.
Ford sales increased 24 percent as sales of the freshly renewed compact crossover Kuga jumped 238 percent, giving it the fourth place among the best-selling models.
Annual new-car sales fell in 2019 for the first time since 2012, falling 4.8 percent decline to 1.256 million.
Industry association ANFAC forecasts 2020 sales will be at a similar level to 2019, with a weaker first half and a recovery in the second part of the year.
Dealer associations FACONAUTO and GANVAM believe the "high economic and political uncertainty" will trigger a 3 percent decline.