A Costa del Sol dealership. / SALVADOR SALAS

Car sales stagnate in 2022 due to manufacturing bottlenecks

Dealers in Malaga province close the year with a significant decrease in vehicles sold with sales for rentals down almost 60 per cent

A lack of supply to car dealerships in Malaga province last year has prevented the sector from recovering after the impact of Covid-19. The year closed with a total of 22,417 registrations compared to 22,611, 0.86% less. The data provided by the Malaga Automotive Association (AMA) to this newspaper reflects a situation of stagnation.

There are several reasons that have led to this lack of supply. Parts are in short supply, so cars cannot be completed. Supply chains have not only been affected by the pandemic but also the port closure has impacted the importation of vehicles. The war in Ukraine is also hindering the arrival of essential products in the manufacture of cars. And a further complicating factor is the situation in China.

“Although the cars are made in Germany, there are parts that are produced in China. For example, GPS systems," said AMA president Carlos Oliva. Oliva said that the waiting time for new car delivery is typically six months and up to a year for some models that are in high demand.

The total registration data has been hugely affected by the collapse in the rental market. In this sector, sales in Malaga province have gone from 4,660 vehicles to 1,913 - a drop of 58.9%.

“It is where the lack of supply is most noticeable. Car rental companies move in the short term. Since there is no offer, they cannot buy," Oliva said.

Private sales of passenger cars and 4x4 vehicles experienced a slight increase of 5.5% compared to the previous year: from the 12,704 cars registered in 2021, sales rose to 13,409 in 2022. Oliva decried this as “a completely insufficient increase. We move in figures from the 90s.”

The AMA president is also concerned about the latest data available for the month of December which shows that car and 4x4 registrations decreased by 14.5%. "This may show a trend of what is in store for 2023," Oliva said.

“Dealers and workshops associated with AMA have been making a great effort at all levels for three years. We are still very affected by the lack of stock of vehicles, the excessive rise in the consumer price index, the increase in fuel, the changes in distribution that are coming in our sector and the establishment of the electric vehicle. Therefore, we request, once again, direct aid from the administrations to maintain employment in the coming months," Oliva said.