Indian car company to invest €30 million in Catalonia

November 26, 2013 07:07 PM | ACN / Rafa Garrido

Samvardhana Motherson Peguform, which produces components and materials to build cars, has announced a €30 million investment in Catalonia, during the business trip of a delegation led by President of the Catalan Government Artur Mas. The Samvardhana Motherson Group, based in Noida, already owns 4 factories in Catalonia, from the former German company Peguform – which was purchased in 2011 by the Indian multinational. €25 million will be invested in rebuilding and enlarging its Polinyà plant, in Greater Barcelona, which produces car paint and was accidentally burned last September. The remaining €5 million will be allocated to upgrading its Ripollet plant, also based near the Catalan capital. In fact, Barcelona is one of the main hubs in Europe in the car industry, with several manufacturing companies building vehicles and components.

Barcelona hosted world’s main Electric Vehicle event with “great success”

November 21, 2013 09:07 PM | ACN

Over 4,000 people have visited the 27th edition of the World Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS27), which is the main international congress and trade fair in this field. It was held from the 17th to the 20th of Novemberin Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via venue. According to the organisers, this year’s edition which took place in the Catalan capital for the first time was “the most successful” and also “the most international”, with attendees from 58 countries, 1,300 delegates and 232 exhibitors. During the fair, the major brands exhibited their new electric models while the latest technologies for electric vehicles, especially batteries and charging systems, were also on display. Meanwhile, the World Electric Vehicle Association (WEVA) awarded on Wednesday afternoon the E-Visionary Prize, distinguishing Malaga (Spain), Indianapolis (US) and the Japanese Goto islands as the three most sustainable urban environments in the world.

Barcelona, the world capital of electric vehicles in November

November 13, 2013 07:42 PM | ACN

Barcelona will host the 27th International Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition (EVS27) and the Expoelèctric trade fair in mid November. Organising these two fairs is part of the city’s economic strategy to boost the electric vehicle sector, which has been declared a priority for the entire Greater Barcelona area and Catalonia. The latest technologies, notably batteries and charging systems will be on display in the Catalan capital, while the organisers also hope to introduce electric vehicles to a very wide audience. These fairs will coincide in Barcelona with two other events dedicated to sustainable development: the Smart City Expo and BCNRail, both taking place between 19-21 November.

SEAT builds the world’s largest solar plant on a car factory

November 12, 2013 07:00 PM | ACN / Maria Belmez / Esther Romagosa

Car manufacturer SEAT, based in Martorell (Greater Barcelona), has set up 53,000 solar panels on the roof of its main factory and on top of parking spaces. The company has just completed the third stage of a €35 million project, which started in 2010, and occupies 10% of the 3 million square metres of its Martorell facilities. The solar panels occupy an extension equivalent to 40 soccer fields and can generate 15 million kWh of clean energy per year. This is equivalent to 25% of the energy needed to produce the Seat Leon or to the “annual consumption of 3,500 households”, said President Jürgen Stackmann. With this eco-friendly project Martorell is now the automation factory with the largest solar plant in the world. Furthermore, the panels were installed over existing facilities and do not occupy additional space.

SEAT announces a temporary mass lay-off affecting 571 workers per day over four months

July 9, 2013 02:09 AM | CNA

Car manufacturer SEAT, which is part of the Volkswagen Group and is based in Greater Barcelona, has announced that the temporary mass lay-off will affect its entire staff in two phases. The first phase will be between September and December of 2013. 571 contracts per day will be temporarily suspended, in turns. In addition, the production lines for the Audi Q3 and the Seat Exceo will be closed for 16 days, affecting 2,800 employees. The Exceo car model will no longer be produced as of 2014. Furthermore, there will be a second phase of temporary lay-offs next year, when the Set Leon’s production line will be closed for 35 days, affecting 3,800 workers. The company explained that the decision was taken “after having exhausted all the internal flexibility measures”.

Catalan exports increased by 13.4% in April compared to the previous year

June 20, 2013 01:07 AM | CNA

Catalan companies exported goods and services worth €5.05 billion in April, which represents a 13.4% growth compared to the same month of 2012. In the first four months of 2013, Catalonia exported €19.17 billion, a 1% increase compared to the same period of the previous year. Looking at figures for the whole of Spain, exports reached €29.40 billion in April, an 18.6% increase compared to figures from April 2012. Regarding the volume of exports reached in the first four months of 2013, Spain exported 76.98 billion, a 7.5% increase compared to the same period last year. The chemical sector led Catalan exports, followed by capital goods and cars.

The Barcelona International Motor Show 2013: positive sales results and more than 700,000 visitors

May 23, 2013 12:17 AM | Marc Ferragut

Car dealers are satisfied with this year’s Motor Show as several brands posted solid sales balances. However, some visitors were disappointed as major car manufacturers were absent, attendants were not very enthusiastic about the worldwide premiers and there was a lack of glamour. Driving simulators and luxury-car payment tours were the main alternative for those who wanted something other than the regular exhibition. The organisers are optimistic and aim to restore the splendour of past shows as the economic situation improves and Barcelona becomes a more important city for motor events.

The Spanish and Catalan Governments hold several high-level bilateral meetings in Barcelona on the same day

May 11, 2013 12:08 AM | CNA

On the occasion of the kick-off of the 2013 Barcelona International Motor Show, the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, and 3 ministers (Finance, Economy and Industry) visited Barcelona on Friday. They held several meetings with the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, and the Catalan Finance Minister, Andreu Mas-Colell. Mas and Rajoy talked for 20 minutes about Catalonia’s deficit target for 2013 and the budget for this year. Officially, they have not discussed the self-determination process. In addition, Mas also met with Luís De Guindos, Spain’s Minister for the Economy. Mas-Colell met with De Guindos and Cristóbal Montoro, the Spanish Finance Minister.

The Barcelona International Motor Show 2013 will present two worldwide and four European premiers

May 8, 2013 07:54 PM | Marc Ferragut

The Saló de l’Automòbil exhibition is the main meeting point for the automobile industry in Spain and will take place at the Montjuïc trade fair from May 9th to the 19th. 22 car brands and 32 premieres are announced: two worldwide, four European and 26 at Spanish level. The showing coincides with the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya and the extreme sports event X Games of Barcelona, completing a motor week in the Catalan capital. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will kick off the Motor Show on Friday the 10th of May.

Seat, Nissan, Ficosa, Gestamp and Doga back up the creation of an automation cluster in Catalonia

May 1, 2013 12:10 AM | CNA

The President of the Catalan Government announced the initiative which will aim to develop an industry and knowledge cluster of the automation sector. The cluster would profit from the multinational companies based in Catalonia, the country’s industrial sector traditionally linked to cars and bikes, the export infrastructures, Barcelona’s car fair, the Formula-1 racing circuit and the innovation, design and education centres. The new cluster is fully supported by the Catalan Government, since automation is one of the main engines driving Catalonia’s economy. It aims to strengthen the sector’s competitiveness, foster cooperation between companies, facilitate the education and training of professionals, develop innovation and implement strategic agendas such as sustainable mobility and electrical vehicles.

Barcelona-based Seat presents its new León SC car model in Geneva

March 5, 2013 11:16 PM | CNA

Seat, which is owned by Volkswagen, will assemble the new car in its Greater Barcelona plant. The new León SC has a more coupé design, with three doors, and will be on sale by May. It comes after last year’s launch of the five-door Seat León at the Paris Car Fair. James Muir, the President of Seat, stated that the brand will “explore new territories” with the new model, which has “dynamic” bodywork. According to Muir, this “guarantees the pleasure of driving” without diminishing “functionality”. The Catalan car manufacturer has also confirmed that it will stop building its Seat Exeo saloon car model as of July. In 2012, Seat posted overall losses, due to a drop in the Spanish market, and now Germany is fast becoming its main market.

Applus+ acquires Chinese company EDI to strengthen its presence in the Asian market

March 5, 2013 09:05 PM | CNA / Ana Macías

The Barcelona-based company Applus+, partially-owned by the Carlyle Group and specialized in automobile technical inspections, reports and certificates, has bought the Chinese company EDI. The transaction, whose cost is unknown, allows the company to increase its capacity in the Asian market. The acquisition of local companies is one of the usual tactics by the Catalan corporation to reach new markets worldwide. Applus+ is present in 65 countries already and most of its revenue comes from international markets. Besides, the operation reinforces Barcelona’s position as an international centre of the automation industry.

Catalonia’s industrial production dropped by 2.7% in 2012, while the Spanish index plummeted by 5.9%

February 7, 2013 09:56 PM | CNA

The economic recession has meant that Catalonia’s industrial production index decreased by 2.7% last year, according to the Spanish Statistics Institute (INE). In addition, the note indicated that the Catalan industrial sector has contracted for the last 10 consecutive months. However, Catalan industry had been less affected than the Spanish average, which plummeted by 5.9% in 2012. One severely affected sector was the production of long-life goods, in which car manufacturers are included, which decreased by 7.1% in December, accumulating 28 consecutive months in the red. Another sector with problems is the means of production, with a 7.3% decrease in December and 11 consecutive months of accumulated drops.

Nissan will assemble its new saloon car model in Barcelona

February 4, 2013 11:12 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

After having reached an agreement on the measures to increase competitiveness with the trade unions last week, the Japanese multinational car manufacturer finally confirmed on Monday that its Barcelona plant will be building Nissan’s new saloon car model as of July 2014. The decision will bring in a direct investment of €130 million, creating 1,000 direct positions in the Nissan factory and 3,000 indirect jobs in the Catalan automobile parts supply industry. After seven months of talks, including a critical period when Barcelona seemed to be out of the race, the Nissan managers and trade unions finally reached an agreement early last week, based on a 20% salary reduction for new workers and guaranteeing the oldest jobs. The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, emphasised that Nissan’s announcement confirms that Catalonia is “an attractive and reliable country”.