Jorge Palacios


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

Spanish Automakers’ Craving for Subsidies Continues 
After funds for consumer subsidies ran out in late October, the industry asked to continue the assistance through year-end, saying sales would collapse – until the newest version of the program takes effect in 2015.
PSA’s Spanish Van Plant Pushes for Wage Cuts 
Management at the Vigo facility is demanding drastic pay cuts in exchange for a commitment to build revamped Berlingo/Partner vans. But labor unions don’t appear to be taking the threat to move production seriously.
New-Gen Skoda Fabia Advances VW’s MQB Architecture 
Four gasoline and three diesel engines are available in the new Fabia, all of them Euro 6 compliant and equipped with standard stop/start and brake-energy-recovery systems.
Whistleblowing Automaker Sparks Spain Pricing Probe 
Some analysts speculate VW Group anticipated an investigation and suggested to SEAT that it take the initiative and alert regulators. They note the Spanish automaker has lost more than €1.5 billion since 2005 but is seeing sales recover.
LCV Concept Fleshes Out Iveco’s Dual Energy System 
The concept’s fully automated load management uses sensors that identify the goods and then indicate the correct positioning of the different parcels within the vehicle interior.
Nissan Spain Adds Workers, Shifts to Meet LCV Demand 
Nissan has achieved a 6% share of the global LCV market, but manager Dany Boulenger believes the 8% target included in Nissan’s Power 88 business plan is within reach.
Past Meets Future in Volkswagen’s Tristar Concept 
Several interesting aspects of the Tristar can be found inside. Its double cab has been conceived as a videoconferencing room equipped with a table, an audio system, swiveling passenger seats and even a built-in espresso machine.
West Europe Key Market for Hyundai’s New 3.5-Ton CV 
The H350 range initially will be rolled out in nine left-hand-drive European markets in 2015. A second stage may include a right-hand-drive version in the U.K.
Fiat’s New-Generation Doblo Bows 
The vehicle will be offered in four body styles: Cargo, Combi, Truck and Flatbed. It goes on sale in Europe beginning early 2015.
PSA Madrid Plant Goes From Basket Case to Showcase 
The Cactus has been a lifesaver for the Madrid plant, which was threatened with closing after PSA assigned production of the Peugeot 208 subcompact elsewhere in 2012.
Pulsar Output Under Way, to Hit Spanish Showrooms in October 
Initially Nissan was targeting 80,000 units per year, but that has been reduced to 64,500 for 2015, likely a result of the weakening in the European market’s recovery over the past few months.
SEAT to Continue Audi Q3 Output With Next-Gen Model 
Launch timing is unclear, but close to 2018 appears likely. Union sources say the Martorell plant beat out Volkswagen’s Belgium plant to win the job.
Mercedes Launches Production of Beefed-Up Vito Van 
The automaker hopes the Vito can replicate the success of the fullsize Sprinter, which posted a 15% year-over-year sales increase in second-quarter 2014.
GM’s Launch of Mokka Assembly Begins Zaragoza Plant’s Revival 
With a new Corsa and Meriva on the way, GM appears on the way to fully utilizing the Spanish plant’s capacity in 2016.
Luxury Brands Nudge Spain Used-Vehicle Prices Upward 
Many customers seeking social prestige but unable to afford a new car are showing interest in used models such as the Audi A3, A4 and A6; BMW118, 220, 320 and X5; and some Mercedes products.
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