Spanish factories made almost 9% fewer cars and trucks in the first eight months of this year as export markets slumped, the National Carmakers' Association Anfac said on Thursday.

According to Reuters, the fall in production, of which typically four-fifths is for export, accelerated to double figures in June and July.

August output fell only 0.5% to 73,149 units, as production of industrial vehicles doubled and helped offset a an 11% slide in car output. Vehicle exports dropped 5% in August and 9% in the eight months.

Reuters noted that most of the major automakers have plants in Spain and the auto industry accounts for around 6% of the economy and 16% of exports.

Reuters said that car workers are living under the growing threat that producers will shift capacity to lower cost Eastern European or Asian countries and Volkswagen is negotiating layoffs at its Seat plant in Barcelona while other manufacturers have scaled back their workforces.

Anfac reportedly also blamed the decline in output on the erratic performance of the main European markets for Spanish-made cars and the fact that some of Spain's plants were nearing the end of their commercial life.