By on February 18, 2011

The Barcelona Reporter, er, reports that a new law passed by Spain’s parliament

allows dealerships a full refund from manufacturers for unsold cars and, in some cases, to charge carmakers for sales teams’ labour and other related expenses… Car manufacturers will have to repay dealerships for any cars they fail to sell after three months, under the new law.

In the event carmakers’ contracts with distributors expire or are cancelled, they must also pay for layoffs at salesrooms and compensate them for lost custom.

Proponents argue that the law, which was bundled with a number of economic measures, would protect Spain’s 150k dealer jobs which, they argue, exist “at the whim” of manufacturers. Needless to say, the OEMs are not amused, and the association of foreign automakers who build cars in Spain (ANFAC) hints that investments by members like Ford, Nissan and Volkswagen will have to be reconsidered in light of these new rules. And even within Spain, the measure is drawing controversy. Industry minister Miguel Sebastian complains

How will a German, Japonese or French (car manufacturer) understand this law if I do not even understand it myself?

In other “Spain hates cars” news, Auto Motor und Sport reports that the country has also approved a new urban speed limit of 30 km/hour (about 18.6 MPH) in order to reduce pedestrian deaths.

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17 Comments on “Spain Hates The Car Industry...”

  • avatar

    Doesn’t the EU allow people to buy cars in any member country without discrimination? If so, what’s wrong with simply allocating inventory to Portuguese and French dealers?
    Anyway, this adds yet another reason to doubt whether the extra supposed protection from a bit of random, Somalia style, chaos, is worth the burden of supporting a government.

    • 0 avatar

      Stuki – Are you suggesting manufacturers send cars to other countries in the expectation that people in Spain will travel internationally to go buy them? That really would be an interesting strategy.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, Stuki is on to something. There is a flourishing trade in Europe with so-called “EU cars”. They are sold by independent dealers. Totally legal, and actually protected by EU rulings. Manufacturers who want to interfere risk multi hundred million Euro fines.  The cars are cheaper because the dealers perform arbitrage between different pricing and tax rates in Europe. Also, these dealers don’t have to comply with often extremely expensive dealer “standards.”
      If they allocate more cars to Portuguese and French dealers, they will find their way to Spain, no travel necessary.

    • 0 avatar

      Do manufacturers honor the warranties if a car is bought from another country? I know here in Canada, many manufacturers will not honor the warrany on a car imported from the U.S. (which I realize is a different situation from the EU, but worth asking nonetheless).

      As for the anti-government remark, I’ll pass on the chaos, thank you very much….

    • 0 avatar

      They must. EU rules.
      Their only way to make some money from the EU trade is to sell owners manuals at horrendous prices. Who would order an owner’s manual in French? A French dealer of EU cars.

  • avatar

    Easy to understand why Spain is on the fringe of economical collapse.

  • avatar

    ¿Es 1 de abril ya?

  • avatar

    Apparently, they also hate midgets.

  • avatar

    Okay fine, the manufacturers will just require higher deposits / payment in full for whatever inventory they want to order. Oh, and the prices just went up. Maybe they’ll come up with some kind of non-refundable “processing fee” on top of that.

  • avatar

    The automakers should plant a bunch of bombs on Spanish trains. The Spanish government will bend to their will so fast it’ll leave a mark.

  • avatar

    I had a most interesting observation during my first ever visit to Madrid in 2007. Many of taxicabs are Škoda Octavia and Superb even though Spain has Seat, its own local car manufacturer.
    I queried a few of the taxi drivers why they chose Czech-made over Spanish-made cars. Most of them said, “they’re cheaper, more durable, and better equipped than Seat.” I pointed out that Seat and Škoda use the same chassis, motor, equipment, etc. The only difference is cosmetic. That seems to be lost on them…

  • avatar

    Poster member of PIGS.

  • avatar

    I did not know that Wesley Mouch was a member of parliament over there.

  • avatar

    Well, they do have the Socialist Party as elected governing party over there, and that goes nicely with a well-deserved 20% unemployment rate.
    ¡A vuestra salud!

  • avatar

    And here I thought the cure for pedestrian deaths was watching where you were going in traffic.

  • avatar

    Equal sharing of misery indeed!

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