Jorge Palacios


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

Opel, Renault Prepping New-Gen Vivaro, Trafic LCVs 
Despite pressure from Renault to transfer Vivaro production to France, Opel/Vauxhall will continue assembling its range in Luton, U.K.
Captur Success to Push Renault Spanish Plant to Capacity 
The model's success has buoyed the outlook for Valladolid workers, who had to suffer through the disaster of the Modus range that was kept in production until 2011, despite its lack of market success.
Spain’s SEAT Loses New CUV to Czech Republic’s Skoda 
The new vehicle’s SEAT badging will broaden the Spanish automaker’s product range, but workers are disappointed it will not be built in Spain.
Spanish Study Suggests Used Vehicles’ Profit Promise 
A study says stepped-up targeting of used-vehicle buyers could raise dealer networks’ share of that market from 33% to 51%.
Fuso Adds to Canter Range With New Euro 6-Compliant Models 
Both the Canter commercial vehicle and the Portugal plant that builds it turn 50 this year. Worldwide, more than 3.8 million of the trucks have been built since 1963.
NT500 Marks Nissan Spain’s Return to Truck Making 
Plans call for most NT500 production to be marketed by Renault Trucks; the Avila plant is held by the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
VW Launches New Polo in Spain 
The new model will hit the market in late April, when production of the current-generation small car will end at the Landaben plant.
Spanish Dealers Condemn Chevrolet’s Exit Strategy 
After announcing its intention to leave Europe by the end of 2015, Chevrolet now wants to liquidate its Spanish dealer network as early as this summer, offering compensation many retailers reject as inadequate.
Spain Offering Fifth Version of Scrappage Program 
The latest edition of the program aims to promote the removal of 175,000 older vehicles from Spanish roads, but unlike previous versions does not subsidize used-car purchases.
GM to Invest €210 Million in Spanish Plant 
GM is launching three models in Zaragoza this year, including the new Meriva and Corsa and the Mokka CUV that is shifting over from Korea.
Spanish Auto Industry Price-Fixing Probe Continues 
The current phase of the investigation involves disciplinary proceedings that could result in fines of up to 10% of the guilty party’s 2012 profits.
Iveco Consolidates Daily CV Output at Spanish Plant 
The truck maker is concentrating output of current Daily models at Valladolid so it can more quickly adapt its Suzzara, Italy, plant to production of the next-generation Daily starting in second-half 2014.
Ford Spain Adds Third Shift at Transit Connect Plant 
Coupled with last October’s production launch of the C-Max compact hybrid and Kuga CUV, the auto maker has hired more than 1,800 workers at the plant in the past 18 months.
Spain Offering Third Round of Scrappage Incentives 
The first two versions of the program are credited with helping Spain’s auto industry recover from sales levels that had reached a 20-year low, contain unemployment rates currently at roughly 26% and raise more government revenue.
Spanish Auto Repairers Reject Refrigerant-Gas Tax 
An automotive service trade group says new technologies and worker-training methods virtually have eliminated harmful emissions from fluorinated gases.
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