SPANISH car production grew 9% to 2.16 million units last year thanks in large part to new, more flexible labour laws.

A government-backed subsidy scheme, and demand growth in markets such as the United States, Turkey and North Africa also boosted production.

Output is expected to keep growing in 2014, according to the country’s carmakers’ association, Anfac.

Anfac said about 87 % of the cars produced in the country were sold abroad, resulting in an automobile trade surplus of 15 billion euros in the January-to-November period. Spain has 17 car plants producing 39 different models.

However, while car manufacturing and tourism are the main drivers of a tentative recovery from a five-year slump, the car industry’s impact on job creation has remained limited.