Spanish new-car sales fell 38 percent to 58,279 in February, according to the ANFAC industry group. It was the second drop in a row, after sales tumbled 52 percent in January.
Demand continued to be hit by the coronavirus pandemic and by the end of Spain's scrapping program, Plan Renove, which expired in December.
A registration tax, which is applied for vehicles producing CO2 emissions above 120 grams per km, increased for many models on Jan. 1. The rise resulted from a reevaluation of CO2 levels for cars after emissions were converted from the NEDC test cycle to the more stringent WLTP procedure, which yields higher CO2 figures.
ANFAC said in a release that "a perfect storm is gathering over the Spanish auto industry."
Dealer association FACONAUTO said foot traffic in dealerships is down 50 percent from the same period of 2020."
Sales to private customers in January fell by 44 percent to 23,154 and company registrations (including self-registrations by automakers and dealers) were down 19 percent to 26,111. It is the first time since 1996 that sales to companies were higher than private demand, according to ANFAC.
Sales to rental companies dropped by 58 percent to 9,014, with coronavirus restrictions still limiting travel and business trips.
To try and boost sales, ANFAC asked the government to restart the scrapping scheme.