Things are not starting off on a good foot for Portugal or Spain, the two countries where the European sovereign debt crisis is most likely to strike early in 2012.

Portugal Car Sales Plunge 60% in December Compared to Year Ago

Via Google Translate, please consider The sale of passenger cars dropped 31.3% in Portugal in 2011

The sale of passenger cars in Portugal fell to 31.3 percent in 2011 compared with the previous year to sell a total of 153,433 units, reported the Automobile Association of Portugal (ACAP).

This marked reduction was driven by the results of last December, when sales fell 60% over the same month last year.

The market for vehicles, including light commercial vehicles and heavy with cars, registered a contraction of 29.9% over 2011.

Spain Car Sales Plunge 17.7% to 1993 Levels

Also from El Economista via Google Translate, please consider Car sales fell 17.7% in 2011 in Spain, near 1993 levels

Registrations of cars and SUVs in Spain stood at 808,059 units in 2011, resulting in a decrease of 17.7% compared to previous year’s figure, according to manufacturers’ associations (Anfac) and sellers (Ganvam).

During the last month of last year, deliveries of cars in the Spanish market reached 66,458 units, representing a decrease of 3.6% compared to data recorded in December 2010.

These figures show that 2011 was one of the worst year ever in terms of volume of registrations in Spain and Spanish car market place at levels close to those recorded in 1993 when 792,500 units were delivered.

Channels, the supply of private cars to customers stood at 387,831 units in 2011, representing a cumulative decline of 33.6%, while in December the figure was reduced by 8% to 35,657 units.

Ganvam Anfac and explained that these sales data in the particular channel shows that 48 of every 100 cars sold in Spain during the last year were purchased by individual customers, compared with 60% recorded in 2007.

Both associations noted that the drop in enrollment “has caused a significant drop in tax revenues for the acquisition of vehicles,” so that the State has failed to enter EUR 450 million the previous year.

These economies are basket cases already. Tax hikes will make matters much worse.

For details, please see Spain’s Budget Minister says “Serious Budget Shortfalls in All 17 Autonomous Regions”; Primer Minister Announces $19.3 Billion Package of Tax Hikes; Cockroaches and the Theory of the Unexpected.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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