Sales of new cars in Spain increased to a total of 722,703 units, or 3.3 percent more sales in 2013 compared with 2012, industry figures showed on Thursday.
This was the first time, along with 2010, that car sales increased in annual terms since 2007, according to the Association of Car Manufacturers (ANFAC), the Federation of Associations of Dealers of the Automotive sector (FACONAUTO) and the Association of car Dealers (GANVAM).
The organizations thanked the incentive plans Plan PIVE and Plan PIMA Aire for helping boost the demand in times of economic crisis.
The Plan PIVE consists of giving 2,000 euros (2,731 U.S. dollars) to purchasers who change their 10-year-old car for a new one with lower fuel consumption and emissions, while the Plan PIMA Aire aims at boosting sales of motorcycles, moped, electric bicycles and vans.
The automotive sector encouraged the government to extend these plans as their budget has finished. The last Plan PIVE, or No. 4, had a budget of 70 million euros while Plan PIVE 1, 2 and 3 had budgets of 75, 150 and 70 million euros respectively.
President of FACONAUTO Jaume Roura said despite the rise in sales 2013 was not "a good year" because the sector should have sold at least one million units.
Juan Antonio Sanchez, from Ganvam, explained that 1.2 or 1.3 million of purchases was considered a normal level of sales.
The sector reported that only in December sales reached 60,513 units, which meant an 18.2-percent increase in comparison with November, when the sector registered a total of 51,197 purchases.
Purchases made by individuals increased by 18 percent in 2013 to a total of 398,788 unities, while only in December they reached 40,086 units. Purchases made by companies fell by 15.5 percent in 2013 to a total of 190,092 units, while increasing by 3.8 percent in December to 16,684 purchases.
The Spanish automotive sector had predicted in November selling around 715,000 units in 2013 and 800,000 in 2014 when the government expects the economy to consolidate its growth. (1 U.S. dollar = 0.73 euros)