Jorge Palacios


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

Nissan Ending Spain Truck Production After 40 Years
Nissan Spain says it will invest €40 million ($43.7 million) to transform the truck-assembly plant into one that mainly will produce stampings and other parts for Renault and Nissan car bodies in the European aftermarket.
Third-Gen Kia Picanto A-Segment Car Bound for Spain
The new Picanto initially will offer a choice of two gasoline engines used in the current generation and shared with the Hyundai i10. It is assembled on a new mechanical platform that also will be shared with a future i10.
Suzuki Brings Ignis Compact CUV to Spain, Portugal
Juan Lopez Frade, general manager of Suzuki Iberica, hopes to sell 1,000 units of the Ignis, which has just reached showrooms in the region, over the coming 12 months. The vehicle was unveiled at the 2016 Paris auto show.
Best Year Since 2007 Behind It, SEAT Looks Ahead
CEO Luca De Neo says the automaker sold 408,700 vehicles in 2016, up 2.2% from 2015 and its best result since 2007, with more than 82% of production exported to markets outside Spain.
Spanish Market Slow to Connect to Electrification
That EVs and PHEVs represented 0.004% of the 1.15 million registrations nationwide last year reflects a lack of charging infrastructure and, to a lesser degree, cost.
Panasonic Takes Over Spanish Electronics Supplier
Since Panasonic bought into FICOSA the companies have launched new products such as an electronic rearview mirror that works with cameras and have accelerated the development of modules used in connected and autonomous cars.
Eclipse Cross Joins Mitsubishi Spain’s CUV Lineup
Sales mainly will be built on three CUV models: the refreshed ASX and gasoline and plug-in hybrid versions of the Outlander. Another CUV, the Eclipse Cross coupe, debuts at the upcoming Geneva auto show and comes to market late in the year.
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.


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