(MENAFN - AFP) In a dramatic sign of a recession battering Spanish people, industry figures Friday showed new car sales plummeted 21.7 percent in October from last year.
The number of new cars being licensed for the roads crashed to 44,873 in the month, down 12,405 or 21.7 percent from a year earlier, said the Spanish Association of Automobile Manufacturers (ANFAC).
Over the first 10 months of the year combined, sales skidded 11.9 percent from the same period last year to 600,237.
Spain's automobile industry suffered a 17.7-percent plunge in new car registrations last year, reaching a 19-year low.
But the industry is holding out hope for a new 75-million-euro (97-million) programme launched in October offering reductions to buyers of energy-efficient vehicles who hand in a car more than 12 years old.
Under the so-called PIVE programme, people buying energy-efficient automobiles get a 2,000-euro reduction, half of it funded by the state and half of it paid for by the car makers.
"The PIVE plan is a breath of fresh air for the automobile market," said Aranzazu Mur, head of economics at ANFAC.
In barely 10 days customers had reserved more than 11,000 cars for purchase and showrooms were reporting big customer interest, he said, predicting an improvement in the November figures.
Though Spain has no national car manufacturer, it hosts 18 factories owned by 10 automobile makers. In 2011, Spain was the second largest producer of cars in Europe, behind Germany but ahead of France.