"People don't buy cars anymore, they buy stickers." This phrase, which like other more or less successful sentences is a very simplified vision of reality, is one of the laments most heard lately in the world of the motoring press in Spain. Although it is an exaggeration, it has its explanation, and it is the following.
The new Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition obliges municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants (149 throughout Spain) to include low emission zones (ZBE) in their sustainable mobility plans before 2023. This means that some 25 million people, more than half of the Spanish population, are going to live right now in cities with restricted access areas for the most polluting vehicles. In some large cities, such as Madrid, we can no longer freely access the downtown area by car (known as Madrid Central or Distrito Centro) if we do not have an ECO or ZERO label from the DGT.
The ECO labels, which correspond mainly to hybrid cars, and to a lesser extent the ZERO labels, which are more 'expensive' to obtain because they correspond to 100% electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles, are going to be in high demand in the coming years. And Toyota is the king of ECO labels. If there is a car brand that has benefited from the creation of the environmental classification system for vehicles based on their energy efficiency and their polluting emissions, it is Toyota, which has been manufacturing and selling hybrid cars (not plug-in) for more than 20 years. .
In just 10 years, the Japanese brand has gone from being the ninth brand that sold the most cars in Spain (36,000 units in 2012 with a market share of 4%), to becoming the brand that sold the most cars in 2022 (more than 37,000 in the first half of the year with a share of 9.1%). Almost one out of every 10 new cars registered in Spain is a Toyota, and more than 80% of the Toyotas sold in Spain are non-plug-in hybrids (or self-recharging, as the brand calls them), to which the DGT ECO label.
In fact, several Toyota models, such as the Corolla, the C-HR, the Yaris Cross and the RAV4, are only marketed in Spain in hybrid versions. With these data, it is logical that some of them are among the best-selling cars in our country, such as the Toyota Corolla, which is third with 10,443 units registered in the first six months of the year. The C-HR is fifth with 9,795 units delivered, while the Yaris and Yaris Cross are in the top 20 with 5,856 and 5,101 units, respectively.
Toyota is the best-selling car brand in Spain with 37,200 units registered so far this year, almost 11% more than in the first half of 2021. It exceeds Volkswagen by almost 6,000 units, which is second with 31,200 deliveries (- 14%), and in 6,200 units to Peugeot, which is third with 31,000 (-16%). Kia is in fourth position with 30,800 units and an increase of 15%, while Hyundai is fifth with 30,200 registrations and an increase of almost 19%.
The 'top 10' of the best-selling brands in Spain is completed by Seat with 30,200 units and a drop of 28.2%, Citroën (21,400 and -17.8%), Renault (21,100 and -24%), Dacia (17,700 units registered and a rise of 12%) and, in tenth place, Mercedes-Benz (16,900 deliveries and a decrease of 12%).