Jorge Palacios


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

Spain Levies Hefty Fines in Latest Price-Fixing Case 
Automakers planning to appeal the fines may argue the fragmented Spanish market is competitive. Their combined market share is 91% but no single brand has a stake greater than 10%, spurring discounts averaging €4,000.
Spanish Auto Industry Exec Bullish on 2016 Recovery 
Mario Armero says factors in his optimistic forecast include falling oil prices, an increase in money available for auto financing after the country’s latest fiscal reforms, and low interest rates set by the European Central Bank.
VW Group Dealers Fined for Price Fixing in Spain
Spain’s competition commission contends the dealers agreed to fix prices and exchange market information, creating cartels in several geographic zones surrounding Madrid, Catalonia, Andalusia, North, Asturias and Valencia.
Spanish Companies Plan Homegrown Electric Vehicle 
The EV’s powertrain will be supplied by the electromobility division of Jofemar, a global leader in vending-machine production. The company likely will assemble the powertrain from components now on the market.
GM’s Russia Pullout Cuts Opel Spain Plant’s Output 
The initial 2015 forecast called for production of 400,000 units but was reduced early this year to 388,000. The cutback in Corsa output lowers that figure to 367,000 units, or 81% of capacity.
VW's Biggest-Ever Investment in Spain May Pave Way for A1 
The investment raises the possibility Audi A1 production CUV could be transferred to Martorell from the VW plant in Brussels, as the Spanish factory already builds the Audi Q3 and labor costs are lower there than in Belgium.
Refreshed SEAT Ibiza, Alhambra Tuned to Connectivity 
The ’15 Ibiza is compatible with smartphones running on either Android or iOS operating systems and features the MirrorLink system that displays the user interface of the smartphone applications on the touchscreen.
Opel-PSA Co-Development Deal Takes Shape With LCVs 
The LCVs to be built at Vigo are among several new-vehicle programs being jointly developed by PSA and Opel/Vauxhall parent General Motors.
Spanish Car Dealers’ Profits Keep Trending Upward 
Automakers credit the uptick in profitability to restructuring efforts and the government’s ongoing scrappage program providing subsidies for new-vehicle purchases while retiring less-efficient vehicles.
CNH Juggles Truck Builds at Spanish, Italian Plants 
At the core of CNH Industrial’s reorganization is the Iveco plant in Brescia, Italy, which assembles Eurocargo medium trucks. Sagging sales have left the facility with a surplus of workers to be assigned to the Suzzara, Italy, plant gaining Daily LCV work.
Spanish Land Rover Dealers Fined for Price Fixing 
In both this and an earlier investigation a business-appraisal service was found to have used secret shoppers to monitor dealer compliance with the illegal agreements.
Three Versions of Spanish-Built Nissan Pickup Planned for Daimler
Latin American demand will be supplied for Daimler from the Renault Nissan Alliance plant in Cordoba, Argentina, where $600 million is being invested in retooling and modernization.
Spanish Car Dealers Targeted in Price-Fixing Probe 
Facing sanctions in addition to the dealers is a market-research firm that used secret shoppers to solicit offers from individual dealerships, then report back to the cartel to determine whether members were upholding the price-fixing agreements.
Spanish Dealers Filling Credit Gap Left by Banks 
A survey of 250 dealers shows 60% financed most of the vehicles they sold in 2014, up from 45% in 2012. The practice was more common among high-volume dealers.
Parasacco Named to Lead Revived Fiat Spain, Portugal 
Sales jumped 30.4% from 2012 to 2014 under Luca Napolitano as the Fiat subsidiary’s Fiat, Fiat Professional, Lancia, Jeep and Alfa Romeo brands registered more than 36,000 units and outperformed the market an average 12%.


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