Spanish car dealers have slammed the government's EUR800m bailout plan for the auto industry, branding it as "insufficient".

In a statement on Friday, top industry lobby group Faconauto said the measure did not take the entire industry chain into account, especially dealerships, which employ 160,000 people with annual sales of EUR80bn.

The plan "has forgotten" dealers, it said, calling for a new scheme to aid the 3,500 small and midsize firms that make up the sector. Sales have plunged 33% this year on the back of one of Spain's worse recessions.

Faconauto said the government must allow credit institutions to participate from a EUR30bn fund set up to tackle the country's financial crisis. This would help dealerships get greater access to credit and funding after making big expansionary investments in the past three years when sales were booming.

The lobby also called for the replacement of the new Plan Vive trade-in programme for one including industrial vehicles over 16 tonnes and include more generous incentives to promote the scrapping of cars older than eight years.

Madrid should revise its current eco car reward programme to include cars emitting up to 160g/km of CO2 from 140g/km now as the latter only account for 30% of new-vehicle sales and 5% of used.

Finally, Faconauto demanded dealers be exempted from social security payments until the economy improves and called for further tax exemptions in profits and investments.

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