Many people have decided to wait before buying a new car, or have bought a second-hand one instead. / p.f.

Sales of new cars in Spain dropped by 12% in July

The market has been hit by uncertainty caused by soaring inflation and fuel costs and the continuing shortage of semiconductors which is delaying delivery of vehicles to dealers

A. NOGUEROL Madrid

During the month of July some 73,378 new cars were registered in Spain, which was a drop of 12.54% compared with the previous month. Since January there have been 481,135 new registrations, which was 11% lower than the first half of last year.

The Spanish market has been hit by economic uncertainty due to high inflation and rising prices, and the shortage of semiconductors which is delaying the delivery of new vehicles to the dealers.

Félix García, director of communication and marketing at the trade association Anfac, said these factors are making people delay their purchase of a new car, or they decide to buy a second-hand one instead. In fact, in the six months until July the number of cars over 15 years old sold was almost the same as the number of brand new vehicles.

According to the director of communication at Faconauto, Raúl Morales, July used to be one of the best months of the year for car sales because families would plan their purchase before the summer holidays and hire car companies would add new vehicles to their fleets in time for the peak season. Neither of those situations has happened this year.

We would have to look back to 2012 to find a month of July when fewer new cars were registered, and that was due to the economic crisis. Now, the lack of vehicles for sale because of the shortage of microchips combined with soaring inflation means it will take time for the market to recover, says Tania Puche of Ganvam.

Last month the only positive figures were related to the sale of new cars to companies, which increased by 2.7% to 31,035, and industrial vehicles, buses, coaches and minibuses, which grew by 18.8% to 1,842.