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.
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 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.
GM Spain General Manager Enrico de Lorenzi says the Zaragoza plant will build 285,000 units in 2014, but the launch of the fifth-gen Corsa and the Mokka CUV will raise 2015 output to 400,000, approaching maximum capacity of 450,000.
After funds for consumer subsidies ran out in late October, the industry asked to continue the assistance through year-end, saying sales would collapse – until the newest version of the program takes effect in 2015.
Management at the Vigo facility is demanding drastic pay cuts in exchange for a commitment to build revamped Berlingo/Partner vans. But labor unions don’t appear to be taking the threat to move production seriously.
Some analysts speculate VW Group anticipated an investigation and suggested to SEAT that it take the initiative and alert regulators. They note the Spanish automaker has lost more than €1.5 billion since 2005 but is seeing sales recover.