Spanish industry, tourism and commerce minister Miguel Sebastian has announced the government has no plans to renew the much-celebrated Plan2000E auto-aid plan.
“It doesn’t make much sense” to re-launch the scheme, he said, adding that other European countries are withdrawing similar strategies.
Sebastian said the introduction of any future aid package must be coordinated with other European governments as 80% of Spain’s production is for export to the EU while imports account for much of domestic demand.
The minister’s comments came as the plan’s EUR100m fund is about to run out as around 1,000 daily car sales are made under the package which has helped to drastically lift sales in Spain where they were plunging in 2008 and early 2009.
Despite the sales improvement, the industry worries that the government’s new hated austerity plan will trigger a sales freefall in coming months as consumers brace for more dire economic conditions and the spectre of higher unemployment.
Sebastian sought to sooth the market, however, by saying the state is planning an “extraordinary plan” to boost fuel-efficient vehicles. He would not provide more details about the scheme adding that its introduction will depend on the market’s performance in coming weeks.
Meanwhile, the Plan2000E has not been immune to problems. Many dealers have complained the state takes too long to reimburse the incentives, which amount to some EUR2,000 per vehicle and even more depending on whether the brand itself tops the incentive, as many have done in recent months.
In recent days, Catalonia’s dealer federation FECAVEM said it will sue the government to collect EUR6m in late reimbursals.