Diesel continued its precipitous decline from claiming nearly half of Spain’s market share barely two years ago as new-car sales overall in the country fell 4.3 percent to 122,664 in March, according to the industry association ANFAC. It was the market’s seventh consecutive monthly decline.
Last month had the same number of selling days as March 2018.
Sales to private customers declined 5.8 percent to 51,983 units in March, while those to rental companies fell 9.6 percent to 32,521. Registrations by companies bucked the trend with a 3.1 percent increase to 38,160.
Registrations of diesel cars suffered a 28 percent drop to 33,045 with a market share of 26.9 percent, down from 35.9 percent in March 2018 and 49.9 percent in March 2017. Sales of gasoline cars were up 3.5 percent to 77,439 for a 63.1 percent share. A year ago, the share was 59.3 percent.
Sales of all electrified vehicles — battery electric and hybrids — jumped 67 percent to 12,180 units and took a 9.9 percent market share, up from 5.7 percent in March 2018.
Regional data published by ANFAC show huge divergences because of local factors. Sales in the Balearic Islands, for example, fell 34 percent after the local government passed a law penalizing gasoline and diesel cars. Deliveries in the Basque country, conversely, rose 21 percent — up 40 percent for private customers — after the launch of a scrappage program with fiscal incentives of up to 3,000 euros (about $3,350).
Alberto Tapia of the dealer association GANVAM said economic and political uncertainty weighs on the overall Spanish market, with a snap general election set to take place April 28.