Jorge Palacios


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

Spanish Car Dealers Targeted in Price-Fixing Probe 
Facing sanctions in addition to the dealers is a market-research firm that used secret shoppers to solicit offers from individual dealerships, then report back to the cartel to determine whether members were upholding the price-fixing agreements.
Spanish Dealers Filling Credit Gap Left by Banks 
A survey of 250 dealers shows 60% financed most of the vehicles they sold in 2014, up from 45% in 2012. The practice was more common among high-volume dealers.
Parasacco Named to Lead Revived Fiat Spain, Portugal 
Sales jumped 30.4% from 2012 to 2014 under Luca Napolitano as the Fiat subsidiary’s Fiat, Fiat Professional, Lancia, Jeep and Alfa Romeo brands registered more than 36,000 units and outperformed the market an average 12%.
Small But Scrappy Honda Spain Mounting Comeback 
Honda Spain sales rose 13.5% in 2013 and 11.4% in 2014 to help the country’s car market recover more rapidly than those elsewhere in Western Europe.
Volkswagen Targets Share Growth for Skoda in Spain  1
The automaker wants its Czech brand to more than double its market penetration over the long term. The new Fabia model, unveiled last year, is expected to be the big driver.
Ford Spain Plant Becomes Nexus of European Output 
The Almussafes facility is the exclusive assembler of the new Ford Mondeo and Mondeo hybrid, as well as the Kuga, Transit Connect and Tourneo Connect for Europe. Exclusive production of new S-Max and Galaxy models will be added this year.
Kadjar CUV to Push Renault Spain Output to New High 
The new C-segment model is targeted for output of 300-400 units per day, sources say, with a market launch expected by early fall in Europe.
Spanish Auto Production Reaches 5-Year High in 2014 
An 8.5% increase in exports and continued government subsidies contributed to the result, according to ANFAC, the Spanish automakers association.
PSA’s Road to Recovery Takes Turn Through Spain 
Peugeot was the most popular brand in Europe last year, when sales climbed 8.1% to 952,000 units. Citroen deliveries grew 7.2% to 689,000. The Citroen total includes 85,900 units of the newly launched DS brand of premium vehicles.
SEAT Not Sitting Still After 10% Sales Gain in 2014 
SEAT sold 304,000 vehicles in Western Europe in 2014, up 11.3%, with Germany, Spain and the U.K. being its major markets.
Opel Eyes 25% Production Boost at Spain Plant in 2015 
Output could reach 400,000 units this year, compared with the 2014 total of 319,000 – a 14% improvement over 2013. Figuerelas’s capacity is 450,000 units.
PSA Plant in Spain Lands Major LCV Assembly Program
The Vigo plant was awarded the K9 program in part because of union concessions, including a 2-tier wage structure, that lowered labor costs relative to a competing PSA plant in Slovakia.
Spanish Auto Market Pulling Out of Long-Standing Rut 
Dealer profits will average only 1% in 2014, but by contrast, six of 10 dealers lost money just two years ago, industry spokesman Juan Sanchez says.
Suzuki Aiming to Shed Bit Player’s Role in Spain 
Suzuki will finish the year with about 2,700 deliveries, down 88% from its high-water mark of 22,051 in 2007, but the automaker’s Spanish sales chief expects nothing less than a near-50% sales surge in 2015.
SEAT’s Russian Exit Not Slowing Spain Plant’s Output 
SEAT union officials hope to make up the capacity shortfall at Martorell by landing both a smaller version of an upcoming CUV awarded to a Czech Republic plant and the new Audi A1 now being assembled in Brussels.
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