Jorge Palacios


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

Spain’s SEAT Turning Cupra Into Independent Brand
SEAT will launch Cupra as its first independent brand and will exhibit Cupra models at Geneva auto show. Also, the Ateca midsize SUV will be manufactured at the Skoda plant in Kvasiny, Czech Republic.
Spanish Opel Factory to Maintain Corsa Assembly
With the 4-year labor agreement in place, Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller confirms Figueruelas not only will build the future sixth-generation Corsa but also an all-electric version of the model in 2019.
Zero-, Low-Emissions Vehicles Scarce in Spain
Only 53% of vehicles registered in Spain, some 18.5 million, are considered zero-emissions or relatively low-emissions. The country’s remaining 16.4 million vehicles are considered “very pollutant.”
Nissan Pulls Pulsar Production From Spanish Plant
Nissan sources acknowledge the Pulsar is overpriced. The hatchback initially was to be built in Sunderland, U.K., but at the last moment the automaker decided to use all of Sunderland’s available capacity to build Qashqai CUVs.
'Big Bang' Paying Big Dividends for Ford in Europe
The ‟Big Bangˮ sales and marketing strategy began paying off when the Transit Custom became Europe’s top seller in the 1-ton LCV segment in 2015 and has held that status since then.
Spain Launches Alternative-Mobility Subsidy Program
The program initially will distribute €20 million to subsidize purchases of alternatively fueled vehicles including electric, plug-in hybrid, hydrogen-fuel-cell, liquid-propane-gas, compressed-natural-gas and liquefied-natural-gas vehicles.
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.

Mar 8, 2018

Toyota Camry Hybrid 2.5L Atkinson 4-Cyl. – 2018 Award Acceptance

Masashi Hakariya, project manager-engine development at Toyota, accepts award for Toyota Camry Hybrid at 2018 Wards 10 Best Engines ceremony....More


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