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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The EV’s powertrain will be supplied by the electromobility division of Jofemar, a global leader in vending-machine production. The company likely will assemble the powertrain from components now on the market.
The investment raises the possibility Audi A1 production CUV could be transferred to Martorell from the VW plant in Brussels, as the Spanish factory already builds the Audi Q3 and labor costs are lower there than in Belgium.
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