Jorge Palacios


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

Economic Pinch Drives Used-Car Demand in Spain 
An industry group attributes the growth of the used-car market to low consumer purchasing power compounded by the scarcity of credit stemming from the 2008-2009 recession.
PSA Launches Output of Revamped C4 Picasso in Spain 
Plant sources say output of the new C4 Picasso could reach 70,000-80,000 units between now and the end of 2013 and that the target for the first full year is 150,000.
Ford to Build Next-Gen Mondeo, S-Max, Galaxy in Spain 
The new products are expected to take production to 300,000 units at the Almussafes plant in 2014, up from an estimated 230,000 this year.
Spain’s SEAT Announces New Round of Production Cuts 
Low demand is cited as the reason for the furloughs and production rollbacks, even though global SEAT deliveries increased 10.2% in the first five months of 2013 compared with prior-year, according to WardsAuto data.
GM to Assemble Opel Mokka in Spain
The announcement of a €200 million investment to produce the model is to be made as part of a visit to the plant Wednesday by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
India’s Mahindra, Spain’s CIE Merging Parts Operations 
The agreement will integrate 10 plants in India and six in Europe with a total of 10,000 employees and enable CIE to increase its annual sales by more than one-third, from €1.6 billion to €2.2 billion.
Spanish Auto Dealers Focus of Antitrust Investigation 
The government says it is looking into possible price-fixing by auto dealers, distributors and maintenance facilities, but emphasizes the probe only is in its preliminary stage.
New Nissan Cabover Truck to Be Built in Avila, Spain 
The new vehicles eventually will replace the Atleon range, which currently is assembled in Avila along with a lighter range, the Cabstar, which remains on the market for now.
Trade Balance Tips in Spanish Auto Industry’s Favor 
First-quarter Spanish-built vehicles’ share of the domestic market approached 38%, due largely to the economic difficulties that spurred demand for locally made, relatively inexpensive cars.
Used-Car Demand Reflects Spain’s Depressed Economy 
Industry officials expect this year’s proportion of used-car to new-car buyers will match last year’s record of 2.3:1, more than double the ratio in the pre-recession year of 2007.
Volvo Holding Its Own in Battered Spanish Market 
German Lopez, chairman of Volvo Car Spain, says the red ink resulted from the overall contraction of the country’s automobile market and the delayed arrival of the new V40 5-door hatchback. He expects a return to profitability in 2013.
Downsized Barcelona Auto Show Returns
The event will feature one-third fewer brands than in 2011, which organizers attribute to the steadily declining Spanish car market and the high cost of participation.
Spain Cuts Most Payouts in Latest EV Subsidy Program
Subsidies are raised in only one category, which could help determine the true range of some EVs when their manufacturers apply for the additional €500.
Ford, PSA Land New Labor Deals in Spain 
Both auto makers promise additional jobs in exchange for lower starting wages for new employees.
For Spanish Auto Dealers, No Relief From Red Ink 
Aftermarket revenues are seen falling to between 5% and 10% in full-year 2013, as more owners pay only for repairs that keep their vehicles operable.
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