Jorge Palacios


Based in Madrid, Jorge writes about Spain's auto makers, suppliers and new-vehicle market.


Toyota Spain Hits Hybrid Sales Target Early
“The increase in the percentage of hybrids over the total sales of Toyota in Spain has grown exponentially in recent years, from 20% in 2014 to 61% just three years later,” notes Agustin Martin, president and CEO of Toyota Spain.
Ford Investing Nearly $900 Million in Spanish Plant
Ford has invested €3 billion ($3.6 billion) in the plant since 2011. In addition to the Kuga, Almussafes also builds Mondeo, Galaxy, S-Max, Tourneo Connect and Transit Connect models.
Citroen Refreshes Slow-Selling Cactus Compact Hatch
The current C4 Cactus is being built at a yearly rate of 50,000 units in a plant with yearly production capacity of 150,000. Citroen hopes to assemble 90,000 units of the new-generation Cactus in the first year of production.
Spanish Automakers Scale Back Production Forecast
To fulfill ANFAC’s prediction of 3 million assemblies this year, monthly production from September through December would have to average about 300,000 units, a level reached this year only in March.
Tesla Opens Permanent Store in Spain, Second Planned
The 6,030-sq.-ft. (560-sq.-m) store in an exclusive area of Barcelona has display areas for Model S and Model X vehicles – the Model 3 introduced in late July will not be available – but no service area. Test drives will be available.
SEAT Ready to Relocate Catalonia HQ, If Necessary
Company President Luca De Meo indirectly reminds employees that European Commission leaders repeatedly have said an independent Catalonia would not be granted membership in European Union.
Gas Gains, Diesels Decline at Renault Spain Plant
The plant’s mix of 70% diesel and 30% gasoline engines will shift to 50-50 as soon as six months from now, manager Anne-Catherine Brieux says.
PSA Squeezing More Output Out of Spanish Opel Plant
The production forecast at the Figueruelas plant for this year is 402,000 units, up 12% from the 361,400 built in 2016. Output could reach 460,000 units next year; the plant’s maximum capacity is 480,000.
Utilities Claim More of Spain’s Used-Vehicle Market
In 2007 SUVs and CUVs comprised 5% of all used-vehicle sales, but that figure had tripled by 2016 as more vehicles in those segments became available.
Spanish Automakers’ Sales Goals Get Dealer Pushback
Business- and rental-fleet sales growth – up 23.5% and 9%, respectively – was much more robust than sales to private buyers (up 2.4%) in first-half 2017. Dealer groups note market stagnation began to take hold in October, when no government-incentive plans were in place.
Ford, Opel Subsidiaries to Up Production in Spain
Ford’s plan to raise production at Almussafes follows a cutback announced in April. Daily output was rolled back because of falling sales of models such as the Galaxy, S-Max and Mondeo sold primarily in other European countries.
Tesla Pops Up on Spain’s Mediterranean Coast
Tesla’s pop-up stores in Puerto Banus and Barcelona are closing later this summer, but the automaker says permanent stores will be opened in Barcelona and Madrid during second-half 2017.
SEAT to Deploy New Arona in European Utility Wars
Going on sale in Spain in November, the Arona is based on the recently launched fifth-generation Ibiza. Both vehicles use SEAT parent Volkswagen’s MQB modular architecture.
Criticism Greets Spain’s Latest MOVEA Scheme
The latest MOVEA plan also subsidizes the installation of public charging stations, with aid of up to 40% the cost. However, the Spanish auto industry has been lukewarm to the program.
Spanish Car-Parts Makers Post Record Profits in 2016
Maria Helena Antolin, president of the Spanish Association of Manufacturers of Equipment and Components for Automotive, credits the result to improved economies locally and in Europe, the sector’s main export market.