Higher fuel prices? Higher registration taxes? Economic downturn? Might these three issues be the reasons why cars that produce more than 200 g/km of CO2 just aren't being purchased in Spain as much as they used to be. Sales of vehicles in this segment sunk by 44 percent during the first four months of 2008, compared to 2007 figures. All car sales were down, but the most polluting cars were the most affected: Vehicles producing between 161 and 200 g/km of CO2 sold 30 percent less, while sales of the 121 to 160 g/km of CO2 segment were down by just 10 percent. These figures confirm the trends observed in February.

Remarkably, SUVs were slightly less affected than large sedans: Sales of SUVs producing more than 200 g/km of CO2 were down by 37.4 percent, compared to 53.7 percent for passenger cars in the same emissions category. As a result, the average car sold in Spain now produces 4.6 percent less CO2 than last year, at 150.7 g/km of CO2. This translates to slightly less power per average car, 118.5 HP (down by 0.75 percent) but also better mileage: 17.5 km per liter (about 42 mpg U.S. - EU highway cycle), which is 2.8 percent better than last year.

Spain's Registration Tax (also called "Inmatriculation") might be the reason. This tax is paid when purchasing a new vehicle. It changed on January 1st and became dependent on CO2 emission levels, encouraging cleaner vehicle purchases. The new rate is zero percent for cars producing less than 120 g/km, 4.75 percent for cars between 121 and 160 g/km, 9.75 percent between 161 and 200 g/km and 14.75 percent if the vehicle produces more than 201 g/km of CO2

[Source: Faconauto via Econoticias]

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