Jorge Palacios


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

Nissan Pulls Pulsar Production From Spanish Plant
Nissan sources acknowledge the Pulsar is overpriced. The hatchback initially was to be built in Sunderland, U.K., but at the last moment the automaker decided to use all of Sunderland’s available capacity to build Qashqai CUVs.
'Big Bang' Paying Big Dividends for Ford in Europe
The ‟Big Bangˮ sales and marketing strategy began paying off when the Transit Custom became Europe’s top seller in the 1-ton LCV segment in 2015 and has held that status since then.
Spain Launches Alternative-Mobility Subsidy Program
The program initially will distribute €20 million to subsidize purchases of alternatively fueled vehicles including electric, plug-in hybrid, hydrogen-fuel-cell, liquid-propane-gas, compressed-natural-gas and liquefied-natural-gas vehicles.
Toyota Spain Hits Hybrid Sales Target Early
“The increase in the percentage of hybrids over the total sales of Toyota in Spain has grown exponentially in recent years, from 20% in 2014 to 61% just three years later,” notes Agustin Martin, president and CEO of Toyota Spain.
Ford Investing Nearly $900 Million in Spanish Plant
Ford has invested €3 billion ($3.6 billion) in the plant since 2011. In addition to the Kuga, Almussafes also builds Mondeo, Galaxy, S-Max, Tourneo Connect and Transit Connect models.
Citroen Refreshes Slow-Selling Cactus Compact Hatch
The current C4 Cactus is being built at a yearly rate of 50,000 units in a plant with yearly production capacity of 150,000. Citroen hopes to assemble 90,000 units of the new-generation Cactus in the first year of production.
Spanish Automakers Scale Back Production Forecast
To fulfill ANFAC’s prediction of 3 million assemblies this year, monthly production from September through December would have to average about 300,000 units, a level reached this year only in March.
Tesla Opens Permanent Store in Spain, Second Planned
The 6,030-sq.-ft. (560-sq.-m) store in an exclusive area of Barcelona has display areas for Model S and Model X vehicles – the Model 3 introduced in late July will not be available – but no service area. Test drives will be available.
SEAT Ready to Relocate Catalonia HQ, If Necessary
Company President Luca De Meo indirectly reminds employees that European Commission leaders repeatedly have said an independent Catalonia would not be granted membership in European Union.
Gas Gains, Diesels Decline at Renault Spain Plant
The plant’s mix of 70% diesel and 30% gasoline engines will shift to 50-50 as soon as six months from now, manager Anne-Catherine Brieux says.
PSA Squeezing More Output Out of Spanish Opel Plant
The production forecast at the Figueruelas plant for this year is 402,000 units, up 12% from the 361,400 built in 2016. Output could reach 460,000 units next year; the plant’s maximum capacity is 480,000.
Utilities Claim More of Spain’s Used-Vehicle Market
In 2007 SUVs and CUVs comprised 5% of all used-vehicle sales, but that figure had tripled by 2016 as more vehicles in those segments became available.
Spanish Automakers’ Sales Goals Get Dealer Pushback
Business- and rental-fleet sales growth – up 23.5% and 9%, respectively – was much more robust than sales to private buyers (up 2.4%) in first-half 2017. Dealer groups note market stagnation began to take hold in October, when no government-incentive plans were in place.
Ford, Opel Subsidiaries to Up Production in Spain
Ford’s plan to raise production at Almussafes follows a cutback announced in April. Daily output was rolled back because of falling sales of models such as the Galaxy, S-Max and Mondeo sold primarily in other European countries.
Tesla Pops Up on Spain’s Mediterranean Coast
Tesla’s pop-up stores in Puerto Banus and Barcelona are closing later this summer, but the automaker says permanent stores will be opened in Barcelona and Madrid during second-half 2017.

Jan 18, 2018

2018 Wards 10 Best Engines Editorial Roundtable Part 2

WardsAuto editors discuss some of the 22 nominees that did not make the cut in this year's Wards 10 Best Engines competition....More


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