The automotive sector reinforces its commitment to its factories and its facilities in Spain. The data revealed by the Annual Report 2018 of the Spanish Association of Automobile and Truck Manufacturers ANFAC points out that the automobile companies invested in Spain more than 3,000 million euros, 42% more than in the previous year. In this way, they exceed the average investment of the previous five years, when they have dedicated about 2,000 million euros. In the last six years, investments exceed 13,000 million euros. This increase, as pointed out by the executive vice president of ANFAC, Mario Armero, in the presentation of the report, "reflects his commitment to the country and the transformation of factories and companies towards the new mobility of the future".

The same companies increased their turnover by 3% in the period, to 66,550 million euros, within the cumulative total of 104,000 million euros that includes the manufacture of vehicles and components. However, the net result decreased by 50%, largely and according to the Report, "as a consequence of the incremental effort made in investments".

The registrations of cars and SUVs grew by 7% in 2018, up to 1,321,438 units delivered. Sales of commercial vehicles rose by about 7.7% to 214,207 units sold while those of industrial vehicles fell by about 2.2% to 27,851 units. The market as a whole grew by 7%, to 1,563,495 units.

In this environment, the tax collection of the automotive sector as a whole was around 30,000 million euros, 6% more than last year. As noted by ANFAC in its Annual Report and stressed by its executive vice president, the public coffers collected "2,000 million euros more than in 2017 when last year there were no plans to support or encourage the purchase of vehicles." In this way, the figures show again that the strength of the automobile market "brings wealth to the country, not only in terms of employment or exports but also of tax collection," Armero explained. Revenue from the acquisition of new vehicles grew by 10.5%, above the increase in registrations and generate employment in factories for more than 93,500 people, registering higher figures than the years before the crisis.

Progressive aging of the automobile fleet

However, despite the fact that the global figure for 2018 reflects an increase in vehicle deliveries, the fact is that registrations do not grow since September 2018. The last four months of the year was very negative and the sales continue to date. , Descending. "Already they chain almost a year of falls, we can speak of crisis in the sector and this phenomenon is caused, above all, by the uncertainty of consumers, who do not know what car to buy," said Armero. This decrease is accompanied by the increase in deliveries of used vehicles of much seniority. "We need to establish stable regulation and homogeneous policies aligned with Europe that allow us to boost demand, incorporate new technologies and satisfy new consumption habits."

In 2018, the average age of the car fleet increased to 12.4 years. In this exercise, more than 166,000 vehicles over 20 years old have been sold, with a clearly negative impact on the environment and road safety. In 2018, 61.6% of the car and SUV fleet in Spain was more than 10 years old. Before the crisis, the share of these vehicles over 10 years was 35.7%. The average age of the vehicles that take to scrape is 19 years. The economic improvement that the country has experienced after the recession period has not served, at the moment, to renew the automobile fleet, which will continue to age, at least until 2022.

The total volume of vehicles delivered, between new and second-hand vehicle operations, is close to three million vehicles, an amount similar to the years prior to the crisis. However, the distribution of these sales, in terms of efficiency and security, is much worse. Today they sell twice as many vehicles over 10 years old as before the crisis, when the polluting emissions of these vehicles are 85% higher than those of a current vehicle. In addition, the volume of these old cars transferred equals, so far this year, the deliveries of new vehicles. The uncertainty is worsening the quality of the Spanish automobile fleet, aging it, making it more polluting and insecure.

With these data, Spain is among the countries of the EU with the oldest car fleet, compared to Germany (9.4 years on average), France (9.3 years) or the United Kingdom (8.8 years). According to the studies carried out by 2030, there are expected to be 3.7 million vehicles over 20 years old, 16% of the park in Spain.

Industrial competitiveness and park renovation

The work of ANFAC, therefore, in the coming months, will be based on "the enhancement of industrial competitiveness of factories in Spain and the renovation of the fleet", the two pillars of priority in the activity of the association, as explained by Mario Gunsmith.

Armero has emphasized the fact that a solution can be given to bad vehicle registration data in Spain before it affects the factories, "a legacy we must protect". "This trend can be reversed," he said, although the support of administrations will be necessary. The vice-president affirmed that a "shock plan, a broad scrapping plan is necessary to remove vehicles over 15 and 20 years old from roads and cities, because they are the real responsible for the worsening of air quality, impact on climate change and road safety ".

The mobility of the future, according to ANFAC, must be intelligent, efficient, sustainable, accessible and affordable to be a reality. But this transition to the mobility of the future must be orderly, without prohibition and guaranteeing technological neutrality, with a homogeneous and stable regulatory framework, which guarantees citizens certainty.

In addition, the progressive aging of the park makes it necessary to design a new tax system focused on the renovation of the park that includes environmental criteria, as well as the approval of a reduced VAT for electric and alternative vehicles.

The Annual report points out that only 7% of the registrations in 2018 were of an electrified, hybrid or gas vehicle. In this sense, the association also works to promote recharging infrastructures in different ways, requesting that direct aids to installation be granted by administrations, registration, interoperability of public access charging points and promotion of alternative fuels, among other measures.

The association, together with its partner brands, is working on a Strategic Plan for the period 2030-2040, which is expected to be presented next autumn, in which the situation of the sector and industry in Spain is analyzed today and it designs a Road Map for its transformation in the short, medium and long term, so that it continues to be a leader in vehicle manufacturing and in the mobility of the future, marked by electrification, connectivity, shared and autonomous driving.

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