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Spain's automakers expect 2021 sales to stay below pre-pandemic levels

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: Workers assemble vehicles on the assembly line of the SEAT car factory in Martorell

By Joan Faus

BARCELONA (Reuters) -Car sales in Spain in 2021 will stay below one million for the second year in a row due to the pandemic and a global shortage of semiconductors that has hit the industry, the head of the country's automakers association (ANFAC) said on Thursday.

Car sales fell 32% to 851,000 in 2020 and ANFAC Chairman Jose Vicente de los Mozos told reporters ahead of Barcelona's auto show that he only expected sales to be about 900,000 this year, still some 25% below pre-pandemic levels.

"We need to revitalise the market," he said, adding that he hoped annual sales would rise to 1.2 million as soon as possible.

Spain is the second largest car manufacturer in the European Union after Germany.

De los Mozos, who is also head of Renault in Spain, said steep increases in electricity prices in the country in recent months had raised production costs.

He said the expensive electricity hadn't had a noticeable impact on the sales of electric vehicles as their share of total sales was still low.

(Reporting by Joan Faus; Editing by Inti Landauro and David Clarke)

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