Spanish sales rise nearly 3% in April to end 7-month losing streak

Spain ended a seven-month streak of declining new-car sales in April as registrations rose 2.6 percent to 119,417 units.

Overall sales rose despite a 17 percent drop in demand from private customers, to 45,503 units. Sales to companies rose 13 percent to 36,421, while registrations by car-rental companies jumped 27 percent to 37,943.

Diesel vehicles continued their slide, with sales down 24 percent to 32,558. The diesel market share was down to 27.3 percent in April from 36.7 percent in April 2018 but up from 26.9 percent in March.

Sales of gasoline cars were up 15 percent to 75,344 for a 63.1 percent share, the same as the previous month and up from 57.4 percent a year ago.

Sales of all electrified vehicles — battery electric and hybrids — plus vehicles powered by liquefied petroleum gas and compressed natural gas jumped 36 percent to 11,515 units and claimed a 9.6 percent market share, up from 7.3 percent in April 2018.

Last month had one less selling day than April 2018.

Raul Morales, director of communication for the dealer association FACONAUTO, said a decline in Spanish consumer confidence (minus 4.1 points in April, according to the EU) and political uncertainty before the April 28 general elections contributed to the eighth consecutive drop in demand from private customers.

Winners and losers

Volkswagen Group: The VW brand suffered an 8.5 percent decline in April, while Spanish brand Seat grew by 10 percent and Skoda posted a 23 percent increase. Seat saw a 76 percent jump in deliveries of its Leon compact hatchback, to 5,008 units, which more than made up for  a 41 percent drop in sales of the Ibiza small hatchback.

Audi deliveries were up 7.5 percent, while Porsche registrations were down 0.4 percent.

PSA Group: Peugeot and Opel sales were down 1.9 percent and 13 percent, respectively, while Citroen deliveries were up 1.8 percent.

Renault Group: Renault brand sales rose 20 percent, while sister brand Dacia grew 11 percent, thanks to a 178 percent increase in sales of the recently refreshed Duster SUV.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: Fiat brand registrations were down 21 percent while all other brands posted positive figures. Jeep deliveries were up 22 percent, with a 67 percent jump in sales of the Renegade small SUV more than compensating for a 20 percent slide in registrations of the Compass crossover.

Ford: Sales were up 20 percent.

Japanese brands: Both Toyota and Nissan lost ground. Toyota deliveries declined 8.9 percent, with sales of the recently launched Corolla sedan failing to compensate the 94 percent falloff of the discontinued Auris compact. Nissan sales declined 14 percent.

South Korea brands: Hyundai rose 31 percent, while sister brand Kia slipped 19 percent.

German premium brands: Mercedes-Benz deliveries rose 16 percent, while sales of rival BMW declined 11 percent.

Source: Automotive News Europe

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