MILAN -- Spanish new-car registrations rose 17 percent in June compared with the same month last year when dealerships were open but still subject to limitations after several weeks of coronavirus lockdowns.
Sales increased to 96,785 last month, according to the ANFAC industry group, compared with 82,651 in the same month in 2020.
Last year, dealerships partially reopened on May 11 after lockdowns to help control the pandemic.
Despite the rise, overall sales last month were still 26 percent below the pre-pandemic volume of June 2019.
Sales to private customers in June fell by 19 percent over 2020 and were 28 percent lower than 2019.
The industry group said a temporary suspension of registration tax between July 1 and December 31 should help lift low private demand.
Last week the Spanish Parliament voted to freeze an increase in the registration tax rate that was triggered by the introduction of the new WLTP emissions regulations on January 1. At the time of introduction, the country's tax brackets were not modified to take account of the new CO2 emissions figures, so cars which under WLTP emitted more than 125 g/km of CO2 were penalized. The no-tax threshold has now been raised to 144 g/km.
Company registrations (including self-registrations by automakers and dealers) were up 12 percent last month, while demand from rental companies grew by 196 percent.
According to ANFAC, short-term rental growth was boosted by companies restocking their fleets ahead of an expected recovery in tourism.
A shortage of cars due to the global semiconductor crisis has also started to be big problem for many dealers in June and will likely continue in the coming months, dealer association FACONAUTO, said.