Jorge Palacios


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

Spanish Dealers Seek 9th Cash-for-Clunkers Plan
Dealers in 2016 averaged 1.6% profitability on 2016 sales of €7 billion, a margin far from the desired 3% “that has already been reached by our colleagues in the U.S.,” says Jaime Roura, president of Spain’s Federation of Auto Dealers Assns.
Hyundai Spain Sales Up Fifth Straight Year in 2016
Hyundai Spain General Manager Polo Satrustegui forecasts 55,000 sales and a 5.5% market share for 2017, but says deliveries and share could reach 58,000 and 8%, respectively, if the government renews a cash-for-clunkers subsidy program for at least the ninth time since 1994.
Nissan Spain Drops NT500; Truck Plant’s Fate In Air
Nissan Spain executive Alan Johnson says NT500 production is being terminated because sales of the truck didn’t justify the investment required to upgrade its engines to meet European emissions standards.
Mazda Spain on Growth Track as 2016 Sales Rise 20%
Mazda Spain sees a flat result this year, estimating it will sell only about 18,500 units. CEO Jose Terol says that is because he expects the midyear launch of its best-selling CX-5 to curtail sales of the model it will replace.
SEAT Reconfigures Dimensions of Fifth-Gen Ibiza
The fifth-gen Ibiza is one of the first vehicles built upon VW Group’s MQB A0 platform, a shorter variant of the new, weight-saving MQB platform. Future VW Polos and a small CUV based on it also will use the MQB A0.
CUVs Power Robust 2016 Sales for Nissan Spain
Nissan ranked eighth in sales and claimed a 5% share of the Spanish market in 2016. The automaker’s strength was in CUVs, where it held a 14% share of a segment that occupies nearly 25% of the overall market.
Ford Spain Eyes More Dividends From Product Overhaul
Ford Spain hopes to make further gains in 2017 with new models such as the Transit Custom Sport, a short-wheelbase variant of the Ford Custom 1-ton CV.
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.


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