What's the Latest Development?
New industry figures reveal that for the first time, Spanish citizens are buying more bikes than cars: 780,000 to 700,000 in the same time period. Madrid bike shop owner Rafael Quereda, who got into the business 18 months ago after losing his graphic design job of 25 years, says that he's "getting more customers each day...some want a new bike, some bring in the bicycles they've had stored in the garage for 30 years to be repaired." Meanwhile, Castellana Motor commercial director Federico Suárez Leco says, "Lots of [car] showrooms are closing" all over the country.
What's the Big Idea?
With more than a quarter of Spain's workforce still unemployed, and the costs of cars and public transit rising, it makes sense that more are turning to two-wheeled transportation. Suárez points out that in the country's most recent economic heyday, people were "buying cars they couldn't afford, with finance plans they should never have got involved with." Now, when people are buying cars, they're opting for much more affordable models. One of those, the Romanian-made Dacia, was the highest-selling brand last month.