Jorge Palacios


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

Renault Spain Proposes New Production in Latest Labor Offer 
The Spanish subsidiary of French automaker Renault offers a 2017-2019 labor and industrial plan that would award a new model to the Valladolid plant and assure engine and transmission production in Valladolid and Seville, respectively.
Iffy Infrastructure Tests Future of Self-Drivers in Spain
Bosch says its fully autonomous vehicle technology could be ready by 2025. Whether the required infrastructure, which will cost at least €3 billion ($3.4 billion), will be ready by then remains to be seen.
Kia Spain On Top in Sibling Rivalry With Hyundai 
To maintain growth, General Manager Emilio Herrera is heading an ambitious program of new-model launches, starting with the fourth generation of the Optima model arriving in Kia showrooms before the end of January.
Renault’s Spain Investment Grows Output, Workforce 
Renault has spent the biggest portion of its €600 million 2014-2016 investment program on retrofitting the Palencia plant to the Common Modular Family platform on which the new Megane, Kadjar and Nissan Pulsar models are built.
VW to Return Cash-for-Clunkers Subsidies to Spain 
Volkswagen initially refused to give back the subsidy payments, contending they were based not on nitrogen-oxide but on carbon-dioxide emissions. But VW later admitted it had understated CO2 emissions as well.
Price-Fixing Suit Would Target Spanish Car Dealers
Rosa Guirado, one of three attorneys preparing the civil lawsuit, says the case for damages in the Spanish price-fixing case is stronger than in the Volkswagen diesel-emissions fraud scandal.
Industry Group Sees Spanish LV Sales Surge in 2015 
The GANVAM industry group says full-year sales could top the 2014 total by 22.7%, updating a forecast of a 16% increase released only 12 days earlier. Sales after nine months were tracking 24% over prior-year, WardsAuto data shows.
New-Gen Nissan Navara Reflects Better Times in Spain
The Navara hits European showrooms this month and Middle Eastern markets in mid-2016. Production of Mercedes and Renault versions launch later. Nissan Europe executive Colin Lawther says the Navara platform will account for 120,000 of the 200,000 units of production scheduled for 2017.
Spanish Government Aims to Jump-Start EV Demand 
The €17 million plan will include subsidies for the installation of electric-vehicle charge points in an effort to promote sales of EVs which now represent only 0.1% of nationwide demand.
Car Care Comeback Sign of Spain’s Economic Recovery 
A recent survey by the Spanish Federation of Auto Workshops shows activity in the car-repair and -maintenance sector increased 5% year-over-year from January through July.
SEAT Lands New Models, Big Investment by Parent VW
The Martorell investment provides some reassurance for 14,000 SEAT workers whose jobs were jeopardized when the automaker stopped assembling the Altea range earlier this summer and VW last year chose Skoda over SEAT to build the Yeti midsize CUV.
Renault Spain Hires 1,000 to Meet Kadjar CUV Demand
Renault launched assembly of the Kadjar, its first C-segment CUV, in April and is exporting it to 40 countries. Current daily output is 450 units on each of two shifts.
Spain Levies Hefty Fines in Latest Price-Fixing Case 
Automakers planning to appeal the fines may argue the fragmented Spanish market is competitive. Their combined market share is 91% but no single brand has a stake greater than 10%, spurring discounts averaging €4,000.
Spanish Auto Industry Exec Bullish on 2016 Recovery 
Mario Armero says factors in his optimistic forecast include falling oil prices, an increase in money available for auto financing after the country’s latest fiscal reforms, and low interest rates set by the European Central Bank.
VW Group Dealers Fined for Price Fixing in Spain
Spain’s competition commission contends the dealers agreed to fix prices and exchange market information, creating cartels in several geographic zones surrounding Madrid, Catalonia, Andalusia, North, Asturias and Valencia.


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