These past twelve months will go down as a bad year for vehicle sales in the province of Malaga, including the Costa del Sol. Although there are a few days left of December still to go, sales to private individuals up to November were down 16.7 per cent year-on-year. At just over 18,000 vehicles sold, it's one of the lowest figures in recent times.
When company vehicles and those bought by the dealerships themselves are added in, the total rises to 25,652, 11.7 per cent less.
In an analysis carried out by SUR, talking to members of the industry in the province, the reason for the decline appears to be down to a number of factors. Will diesel be scrapped? Will electric cars triumph? Other reasons include fears over job security, growing lack of interest among younger generations in having a car and also a fall in birthrate.
The decline is also being put down to improvements in public transport, more people using bikes or electric scooters and new online services, such as renting mopeds by the minute.
Decline doesn't make sense
The head of the association of local dealerships (AMA), Carlos Oliva, said that although there are long-term sociological factors at play, their impact is more gradual. Instead, he believes that people are just keeping their old cars longer. "There is pent-up demand; the cars on the road haven't been replaced, and the average age has gone up from seven to thirteen years, the second highest in Europe. People are still driving, but cars are getting older. It doesn't make sense."
Oliva called for the government to incentivise people to change their cars, as happened in the past. "They don't have to be electric. A 2019 petrol engine gives off 30 per cent less than ten years ago."