Potential customers are shown what’s on offer in a car salesroom.
If the sales of new cars is considered one of the principal indicators of a growing economy, then the province of Malaga is showing clear signs of recovery.
In the last twelve months 13,300 people in the province have bought a new vehicle, according to figures released by the ‘Asociacíon Malagueña de Automoción’ (AMA or the Malaga car association), which controls the sector.
This means a rise of 12 per cent or 1,500 more cars for private use sold than in 2012. Company car and rental car sales make the total 2013 figure 19,291.
Juan Peña, president of AMA, explained that these “real” figures confirm the optimistic forecasts which were given for the recovery of consumer confidence.
“We won’t return to the figures of 2007 but in recent years sales have been much lower than normal,” commented Peña who said that, given its population and characteristics, Malaga’s annual car sales in a period of recovery ought to be around 20,000 a year.
“Malaga is coming out of this crisis faster than other places because we went into it earlier,” said Peña.
Peña also stressed the importance of residential tourism in the rise in car sales. The European population living in Malaga are returning to their habit of changing their cars every two to three years, he said.
Not only that but the growing strength of the Costa del Sol tourism market means a big rise in the number of new cars purchased by rental companies - 2,706 in 2013 which was a rise of 38 per cent from 2012.
Also significant in the boost incar sales are the government schemes ‘Plan Pima Aire’ and ‘Plan Pive’ which offer the incentive of a thousand euros discounted from the price of a new car if at the same time an old car aged ten years or over is scrapped.
In this regard, Juan Peña has warned that in mid December funds for the two schemes ran out. He has called for the urgent revival of both plans, not just for their great sales incentive but also because more sales mean more taxes for the central government.
Another factor pointing to the recovery of the economy in general is the rise in the sale of vehicles used for industry. Some 1,596 vans and trucks were purchased in Malaga province in 2013, a year-on-year rise of more than 15 per cent. Key in this has been ‘Plan Pima Aire’ which offers discounts to those buying new commercial vehicles.
In terms of which type of vehicle is most popular with buyers, small cheap cars top the table. In first place is the Seat Ibiza with the Dacia Sandero second and the Nissan Qashqai taking third position.
Seat is the most popular manufacturer, followed by Volkswagen, Toyota, Citroen, Ford, Opel, Renault, Dacia and Nissan in that order.