March Auto Sales Down in Spain image

Spain’s new car sales dropped 4.5% in March, compared to the same period last year, due to the fact that economy heads back into recession.

March 2012 reached sales of 84,427 units compared to 88,397 units from March 2011. Total sales during the first quarter reached 204,119, a 1.9% drop over the same period in 2010 and the lowest level since 1993. In 2011 the new car sale decreased with 17.7% to 808,059 units.

In 2008 a propriety bubble collapsed, which made the jobless rate go over 23%, the highest level in Europe. This made the private consumption, especially for big ticket items like cars, fall sharply. By posting a second straight quarterly slump in the first quarter, Spain practically slid back into recession barely two years after it emerged from the last one. Spain’s economy grew 0.7% in 2011 but is expected to contract by 1.7% in 2012.

Other reports show that Italian car sales fell 26.7% in March, Spanish sales dipped 4.5% and French sales were down 23.5%.