Jorge Palacios


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

Spanish Dealers Hiring, But Still Not Making Money, Group Says 
After five years of crisis, employment increased slightly in 2013, but more dealers are expected to exit the business in 2014.
Compact Courier Van Completes Overhaul of Ford Transit Range 
The first compact van in the Transit range, the new Courier hits the European market in June.
Revamped Movano, Master Join European Van Parade 
To meet the new European emissions rules implemented earlier this year, some of the vans’ traditional 2.3L 4-cyl. diesel engines now feature a twin-turbo system making 135 or 165 hp.
Nissan’s New Electric LCV Draws Upon NV200, Leaf
Nissan targets annual production of 20,000 units of its second electric vehicle for export to 20 global markets, including Japan.
Iveco Speeds Rollout of New-Generation Daily CVs 
The launch date has been moved up at least six months, leading analysts to speculate Fiat Chrysler’s CNH subsidiary is raising Iveco’s profile in a highly competitive market segment.
Loophole in Spanish Subsidy Program Open to Clunkers 
Each PIVE program offered subsidies to new-car buyers who had to show they were scrapping a model 10 to 12 years old. But because none set a minimum ownership period, some old vehicles changed hands without leaving the junkyard.
Chevrolet Spain Dealers Surrender Unconditionally, Take GM Settlement Offer 
The quiet resolution in Spain comes in contrast to a more contentious situation in France, where a suit has been brought against the automaker.
Fiat Mounts Comeback in Spain 
After years of red ink, group sales growth is outpacing the market, and the automaker believes it has shored up its retail network for a near-term return to profitability.
New Citroen Could Be Lifesaver for PSA’s Madrid Plant 
The facility’s future has been in doubt since before it lost a program to build a new CUV to a competing plant. But launch of the new C4 Cactus appears to have turned the Madrid operation’s fortunes around.
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.
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