August saw a halt in the decline of new car registrations in Spain, according to industry data out today. It was the first month since April 2008 that new car registrations have not fallen year-on-year.

Spanish car manufacturers’ association ANFAC said that registrations were flat year on year at 58,510 cars – 58,530 were registered in August 2008.

This was the first month since April 2008 that the number of new car registrations in Spain has not dropped.

Industry analysts said the fall had been easing due to Spanish government subsidies to persuade consumers to buy new vehicles.

For the eight month period, sales were still down however, with new car registrations falling 32% year on year to 599,808 units.

In late August, Spain’s auto industry asked the government to extend the Plan 2000E aid programme before it runs out of funds in October.

The scheme, which has helped boost anaemic sales by 20% since its May launch, includes a EUR100m fund to subsidise 200,000 registrations. However, industry observers expect the popular programme will use up all its funds in the next two months, leaving the car industry reeling under Spain’s severe consumer downturn and deep recession.