Font size Email Print. In a statement, manufacturer and dealership bodies Anfac and Ganvam respectively, said next year will mark the third in which car sales will total under 1m units, bringing the market back to volume levels last seen in the 90s. They said Spanish manufacturing plants could lose their competitiveness at current production levels and urged the government to renew Plan E to help boost the industry's fortunes. Meanwhile, Spanish unions have criticised PSA Peugeot Citroen for failing to use component manufacturers in the Galicia region where the French car maker has one of its largest factories in Vigo. Galician suppliers "have been collaborating and meeting all of the company's demands for several years," the union charged, adding it is seeking an "urgent" meeting with PSA. S: If you liked this article, you might enjoy the just-auto newsletter.
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Spain's automobile manufacturing sector, the second largest in Europe, has played a major part in the country's ascent from the depths of the property crash, the financial crisis and the sovereign debt crisis and recession.
Unexpected results in the sector, particularly on the downside, are thus closely watched in the country, and could have significant implications for the Spanish economy.
In general, auto production has performed poorly for most of the second half of After rising to near two-year highs in May, the auto component of the IPI experienced a collapse from September onwards to levels not seen since The industrial activity index, which only reflects actual billing rather than the sales plus value-added of the IPI, for its part has fallen precipitously from an all-time high of in December to for the last reported data point.
The annual change in this index had been positive every month between December and July Various factors, some transitory and others perhaps structural, lie behind this disappointing scenario. New emissions standards and discounting of old stock distorted car sales data in late However, the data also reveal a particularly weak post-summer holiday period.
Then, in July, regulatory change entered the picture in the form of the Worldwide Light Vehicle Test Procedure WLTP , which rendered existing and all vehicles sold from the beginning of September unacceptable from an emissions viewpoint. In the same month manufacturers and dealers introduced significant discounts to rid themselves of soon to be illegal stock. The result was a The year ended with a 3. Anfac remarks that there is a notable decrease in demand related to economic uncertainty experienced by buyers, and that any effect on sales of the phase-in of the WLTP had long faded by December.
Faconauto seems to suggest that the WLTP effect has not fully played out, but is apprehensive about what will bring. Ganvam remarks that the weakness is from the personal market, whereas the commercial sector continues to perform well. Further obfuscating the issue is the regulatory turn against diesel engines.
However, more interestingly, purchases of gasoline cars were up year on year in every month of the diesel demand collapse from September to December. It is possible that something else, possibly related to the announced phase-out of diesel engines and not entirely covered by the effects of summer discounts on diesel cars, was affecting consumer decisions. When comparing the number of automobiles built in against their respective averages since , both October and November, although they recorded negative growth, were well within the normal range.
Most automobiles produced in Spain are destined for export, principally to other European countries. Comparing vehicle manufacturing statistics from Anfac with trade numbers from the Ministerio de Industria, Comercio y Turismo Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism shows that the larger share of this new capacity was destined to produce vehicles for export.
The automobile share of total merchandise exports rose from 8. Confirming the effect of post-recession capital investment in Spain, the bulk of the rise in deliveries occurred in The increase in Spanish exports to Italy, Germany and the UK occurred despite a negative reading for total Spanish automobile deliveries over the same period.
Statistical distortions from the WLTP leave the underlying trends in the auto market uncertain. In late the statistical record of European auto production was distorted by the introduction of the WLTP air-pollution regulations. The effect of this is entirely borne by diesel engine vehicles. Purchase decisions were brought forward to take advantage of price discounts—especially in the case of commercial buyers—to July and August, prior to the September implementation of the policy and its ban on the sale of non-compliant new vehicles.
August vehicle production of more than 80,, the highest on record for the month, was followed by the poorest September since the depths of the last recession.
Have the temporal effects on purchases come to an end, leaving us with a more structural weakness in the automotive sector? And given the continued strength of gasoline-powered auto sales, do the effects include a more generalised avoidance of new diesel vehicles, but without a corresponding commitment to buying new gas-powered ones?
In other words, how many people held on to a vehicle that they might have traded in for a new diesel vehicle? If this was a relatively frequent decision, the recuperation from the slow patch in late may be distributed over a lengthy period of time.
The effects have been dramatic; according to the industry ministry, the number of vehicles produced had returned to levels by Spanish automobile trade associations are apprehensive about the prospects for Their biggest concern is consumer sentiment, which they believe to be soft. We believe that soft demand is likely to be a reflection of regulatory changes on consumption habits, which will be temporary. A lasting change in Spanish and European car-buying remains to be seen.
It is also worth noting that some domestic press coverage suggests that a portion of the automobile manufacturing slowdown is due to an insufficient supply of WLTP-compliant diesel engines. Moreover, industry analysts have noted that there is a great deal of similarity in the data across sectors and countries, which could mean that the November IPI weakness could also be the product of faulty seasonal adjustment algorithms.
Skip to main content Web bot Register Log in. New emissions standards hit Spain's auto industry January 31st Spain Production In recent years sizeable foreign investments have strengthened the Spanish automotive industry, helping the country to climb out of the depths of the recession.
Passenger-car production and sales suffered in late , however, mainly owing to the introduction of new EU emissions standards that distorted industry statistics. The data leave some uncertainty about the underlying trends in a crucial sector for the Spanish economy and the second-largest automotive industry in Europe. Car production for export has risen strongly owing to foreign investment Most automobiles produced in Spain are destined for export, principally to other European countries.
Statistical distortions from the WLTP leave the underlying trends in the auto market uncertain In late the statistical record of European auto production was distorted by the introduction of the WLTP air-pollution regulations. Two vital questions for the auto industry remain unanswered Have the temporal effects on purchases come to an end, leaving us with a more structural weakness in the automotive sector? Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit.
March 31st How does coronavirus affect FDI flows? January 28th Production.
Joined February. Spanish sales rose 3. The Wolfsburg-based group, which aims for over 10 million global vehicle sales in to grab the world no. Madrid 2 ENE — Sales in climbed 3. European registrations always hit a seasonal low in the biggest summer vacation month.
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