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March 7, 2011updated 08 Apr 2021 8:13am

SPAIN: Dealers, manufacturers in breakthrough deal to end weeks of conflict

Spain's car dealers and manufacturers have signed an initial deal to modify a new and highly controversial law that will regulate the country's car sales which, as originally proposed, had triggered heavy complaints from automakers.

Spain’s car dealers and manufacturers have signed an initial deal to modify a new and highly controversial law that will regulate the country’s car sales which, as originally proposed, had triggered heavy complaints from automakers.

The country’s leasing dealers’ association Faconauto, manufacturers’ federation Anfac, importers’ lobby Aniacam and sales trade federation Ganvam said they had asked the government to refute the bill and promote parliamentary debate for a new one.

The law was approved on 15 February by Spain’s PP, Ciu and PNV political parties but rejected by the PSOE governing party. Under the legislation, dealerships were allowed to return a car or any parts they had not sold within 60 days to manufacturers which would be forced to buy them at the same price.

The initiative triggered a sharp cry of indignation from carmakers which argued it would cause job losses and freeze investments in an industry already struggling under Spain’s deep recession.

On Friday, opposition political party Partido Popular (PP) branded the agreement as “very positive”, adding it will provide a more stable framework to negotiate a win-win deal for both parties.

But the new process will likely remain controversial after one leading manufacturer said the 15 February law “will not even be considered.” Despite this, the government has pledged to help broker a “satisfactory” deal in three months.

Meanwhile, dealers have complained about another initiative to reduce Spain’s maximum speed to 110 km/h from 120 km/h, saying they will likely depress sales which have already plunged in the first few months of the year as consumers tighten their spending. This, coupled with other moves to tax car use in the city centres, has also prompted complaints.

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