Jorge Palacios


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

Toyota Spain Outperforms Overall Market in 2016 
Toyota’s strength was in the 25,362 sales of its seven brands of hybrid vehicles. Last year’s deliveries gave the automaker a 43% share of the hybrid market, up from 26% in 2014.
Spanish Dealers' Profit on Track for Slight Gain in 2016
Industry sources say the nearly flat result in second-half 2016 profitability may be linked to purchases made ahead of expiration of the government’s cash-for-clunkers program in July.
Opel’s Spanish, German Plants to Swap Assembly Jobs
Opel Spain sources have said with GM’s new focus on increased output of small models, the Figueruelas plant by 2020 could approach its maximum capacity of 500,000 units per year and top the record 489,000 built in 2007.
Spain’s SEAT Adds Fast Fastback to Leon Lineup
The hatchback’s 2.0L TSI engine generates 290 hp and 380 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,800 and 3,500 rpm. A 1.6L TDI diesel engine making 115 hp will be available for the entire Leon range, including the Cupra.
New Plant Meant to Rebuild VW’s Presence in Algeria
Under the automaker’s joint manufacturing venture with its Algerian importer and distributor, the SEAT Ibiza minicar will undergo final assembly at a plant 135 miles west of Algiers.
Suzuki Spain Stays Course Amid Political Turmoil
Suzuki Motor Iberica General Manager Juan Lopez is heartened by the automaker’s share of the Spanish market, which is expected to finish the year at 0.54% compared with 0.35% in 2015 and could reach a projected 0.67% in 2017.
Diesel Not Dirty Word in Spainʼs Used-Vehicle Market
“If some day diesel engines are discontinued, it will be a result of the authorities or auto industry initiatives, not of the motorists,” says Gerardo Cabanas, general manager of online retailer AutoScout24 Spain.
Differing Directions for Spanish Car Distribution
U.S. electric-vehicle maker Tesla plans to install its battery superchargers in various locations around Spain starting in Barcelona, where it is opening a showroom.
Spanish Car Exporters Look Beyond European Union
Spanish automakers are looking to markets outside the European Union in part to avoid the effects of EU currency fluctuations that can raise the price of exported cars.
Spanish Auto Industry Puts Brakes on Production
Despite good sales results in Western Europe last month, the Spanish auto industry has several idling plans as weak car demand is forecast for the last quarter of the current year and the first part of 2017.
Versatility Top Feature of New-Gen Nissan NV300 LCV
The NV300 completes the renewal of the Japanese brand’s commercial-vehicle range, which also includes the Navara pickup and the NT400 and NT500 light trucks assembled in Spain.
Spanish Auto-Parts Makers Off to Good Start in 2016
The European Union was the main destination for Spanish-made components through the year’s first four months, increasing 7.6% over year-ago to €6.7 billion. The EU accounted for 75% of sales.
Opel Taps Spanish Plant to Build New Mokka X
The Mokka was built in South Korea when sales in major global markets began in 2012. Its initial success called for increased production and Opel management chose the Figueruelas facility, which has produced 160,000 units since September 2014.
Spanish Plant Hub of Mercedes’ Midsize Van Range
The plant assembles 540 vehicles per day on two shifts, up from 470 in 2015. To keep pace with rising sales, 800 new workers have been hired this year, and for the first time the facility is operating during two summer months when it traditionally shuts down.
Faurecia Sells Auto-Exteriors Arm to Plastic Omnium
As part of the sale, Plastic Omnium will divest itself of its plastic-bumper-manufacturing business in France and its front-end-module operations in Germany, as well as one of its seven plants in Spain.


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