Car sales plunge by 28% in Spain

Car sales in Spain plunged by 28% in 2008, its worst slump on record, according to shell-shocked manufacturers.

The automobile trade association Anfac reports that just 1.16 million vehicles were sold compared with 1.61 million the previous year.

Sales halved to a total of 72,377 in December from the 144,441 sold in the same month in 2007.

Despite being one of Europe's best-performing economies over the last decade, Spain is now in a sharp downturn sparked by the international financial crisis.

Carmakers such as Ford, General Motors and Volkswagen have all announced job and production cuts in recent months, while the key construction industry is experiencing a collapse.

Copyright © Press Association 2009