Jorge Palacios


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

Pulsar Output Under Way, to Hit Spanish Showrooms in October 
Initially Nissan was targeting 80,000 units per year, but that has been reduced to 64,500 for 2015, likely a result of the weakening in the European market’s recovery over the past few months.
SEAT to Continue Audi Q3 Output With Next-Gen Model 
Launch timing is unclear, but close to 2018 appears likely. Union sources say the Martorell plant beat out Volkswagen’s Belgium plant to win the job.
Mercedes Launches Production of Beefed-Up Vito Van 
The automaker hopes the Vito can replicate the success of the fullsize Sprinter, which posted a 15% year-over-year sales increase in second-quarter 2014.
GM’s Launch of Mokka Assembly Begins Zaragoza Plant’s Revival 
With a new Corsa and Meriva on the way, GM appears on the way to fully utilizing the Spanish plant’s capacity in 2016.
Luxury Brands Nudge Spain Used-Vehicle Prices Upward 
Many customers seeking social prestige but unable to afford a new car are showing interest in used models such as the Audi A3, A4 and A6; BMW118, 220, 320 and X5; and some Mercedes products.
Auto Industry Jobs on Rise in Spain 
ANFAC President Mario Armero says the automotive sector has weathered the economic storm in Spain better than most, but additional gains in labor flexibility are needed.
Spain Renews Scrappage Program, Adds EV Subsidies
It is estimated that the latest PIVE plan could extend into October, funding the purchases of about 175,000 new vehicles priced less than €25,000 before value-added tax.
PSA Building C4 Cactus at Nearly Shuttered Plant 
The French automaker managed by Carlos Tavares wants to emulate the success of the Captur model achieved by Renault, Tavares’ former company.
PSA-Fiat JV Launches Next-Gen LCVs in Tough Market 
Sevel Sur is considered one of the industry’s most profitable JVs, but the Fiat-PSA Peugeot Citroen collaboration faces stepped-up competition from automakers including Opel, Mercedes, Renault and Volkswagen.
Renault to Add Third Shift for Captur in Spain 
The extra shift, to be launched in October, ultimately will increase production to 5,600 units per week.
Spanish Dealers Hiring, But Still Not Making Money, Group Says 
After five years of crisis, employment increased slightly in 2013, but more dealers are expected to exit the business in 2014.
Compact Courier Van Completes Overhaul of Ford Transit Range 
The first compact van in the Transit range, the new Courier hits the European market in June.
Revamped Movano, Master Join European Van Parade 
To meet the new European emissions rules implemented earlier this year, some of the vans’ traditional 2.3L 4-cyl. diesel engines now feature a twin-turbo system making 135 or 165 hp.
Nissan’s New Electric LCV Draws Upon NV200, Leaf
Nissan targets annual production of 20,000 units of its second electric vehicle for export to 20 global markets, including Japan.
Iveco Speeds Rollout of New-Generation Daily CVs 
The launch date has been moved up at least six months, leading analysts to speculate Fiat Chrysler’s CNH subsidiary is raising Iveco’s profile in a highly competitive market segment.
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