Jorge Palacios

Jorge
Palacios
Correspondent,
WardsAuto

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

Articles
SEAT to Design Small-EV Platform for VW Group 
The new platform, to be called Small BEV, will be based on VW’s existing MEB platform for EVs, two unions representing Spanish workers say.
SEAT to Lead CNG Development for VW, President Says
SEAT President Luca De Meo tempers his optimism about CNG by acknowledging the fueling infrastructure needs further development. He says Spain needs 300 supply points but currently only has 57.
PSA Planning to Shed Some Opel, Vauxhall Dealers
PSA Group has notified its 100 Opel-brand dealers in Spain and Portugal their distribution contracts will be canceled in 2020, but most will be immediately renewed after the French automaker decides which ones to eliminate.
Head of Spanish Automakers’ Group Has Green Agenda
ANFAC believes “a structural and unique subsidies program funded with €150 million per year is necessary to increase the share of (vehicles with) new technologies in the market,” Executive President José Vicente de los Mozos says.
India’s Mahindra Making Renewed Push Into Europe
The KUV100, exhibited at last year’s Barcelona auto show, is meant to compete with the Dacia Duster and Suzuki Ignis at the low end of the market.
PSA Madrid Plant Rejuvenated By Updated C4 Cactus
In the months before assembly of the updated Cactus began earlier this month, PSA was reorganizing the plant and remodeling the assembly line to improve efficiency.
Spain’s SEAT Turning Cupra Into Independent Brand
SEAT will launch Cupra as its first independent brand and will exhibit Cupra models at Geneva auto show. Also, the Ateca midsize SUV will be manufactured at the Skoda plant in Kvasiny, Czech Republic.
Spanish Opel Factory to Maintain Corsa Assembly
With the 4-year labor agreement in place, Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller confirms Figueruelas not only will build the future sixth-generation Corsa but also an all-electric version of the model in 2019.
Zero-, Low-Emissions Vehicles Scarce in Spain
Only 53% of vehicles registered in Spain, some 18.5 million, are considered zero-emissions or relatively low-emissions. The country’s remaining 16.4 million vehicles are considered “very pollutant.”
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.
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