Spain August 2014: Barcelona Photo Snapshot

1. Seat Ibiza Barcelona August 2014Seat Ibiza in Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain – August 2014

Over the past few days I had the honour of visiting Barcelona in Spain, and this is a great opportunity to share with you my impressions on the car landscape in the capital of the Catalunya region. Remember to click on any picture to see the full size version! The first striking element looking at the cars in the streets of Barcelona is the low prevalence of shining new cars. The recession the market has endured here between 2008 and 2013 is showing clearly in the composition of the car landscape. Also, a very large portion of the cars in circulation in the city are taxis which may flaw some observations a little. A lot of these taxis are new, indicating that fleet sales do play a big part in the Spanish new car market’s current recovery.

2. Seat Toledo Barcelona August 2014bSeat Toledo in Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain – August 2014

As is often the case in mid-weight cities, taxi nameplates are very specific in Barcelona with only a few models forming the vast majority of the park. Logical: the Seat Altea, Skoda Octavia, Superb and now Rapid are very popular with taxi companies. Large boots, understandable. More interesting: the Toyota Prius is among the two or three most frequent taxis here. Even more interesting: the Seat Toledo is everywhere as a taxi. Let’s be frank, it’s a flop in the Spanish sales charts as well as all other European countries, and it seems the little amount of sales it garnered at home since launch are devoted to endure the long and tiring life of being a taxi here.

3. Seat Leon Barcelona August 2014Seat Leon in Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain – August 2014

As far as passenger cars are concerned, the latest generations Seat Ibiza and Leon do confirm they are the two most popular vehicles in the country at the moment with a significant amount driving around in town. The new Peugeot 308 is also an instant hit in Barcelona in line with country-wide sales figures of the past few months.

4. Skoda Rapid Barcelona August 2014Skoda Rapid in Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain – August 2014

5. Renault Twizy Barcelona August 2014bRenault Twizy in Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain – August 2014

Barcelona is now the city in the world where I saw the most Renault Twizy! They are used as security vehicles around the main touristic attraction (as below in Park Güell), but also available to rent and I saw quite a few tourists happily driving around town, with the passenger holding onto the driver’s seat a little bit like on a motorbike…

6. Renault Twizy Barcelona August 2014aRenault Twizy in Park Güell, Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain – August 2014

7. Peugeot 308 Barcelona August 2014Peugeot 308 in Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain – August 2014

8. Dacia Dokker Barcelona August 2014Dacia Dokker in Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain – August 2014

If you are a regular BSCB reader, you will know that Dacia has been met with tremendous success in Spain, with the Sandero flirting with the pole position of the models private sales charts. This gets confirmed in Barcelona, and I even saw way more Dacia Dokker than I ever did in France…

9. Seat Toledo Barcelona August 2014aSeat Toledo in Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain – August 2014

10. Tata Hispano Barcelona August 2014Did you know Indian manufacturer Tata had a Spanish subsidiary called ‘Tata Hispano’? 

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. Hi Matt, i think Jose is right, Barcelona during Holidays look very different as ir looks in everyday Life. But still, nice post!

  2. Tata bought Hispano Carrocera. Tata Hispano was a very important bus manufacturer in Europe.

    I think it stopped producing last year.

  3. Matt, it’s clear you been in my home city in august, when wealthy people, who can afford new & shiny cars. are out on holidays. Also, from the pictures I see you did the tourist tour, around the most typical places. Should you have wandered around the upper side of the city, the car landscape would have been pretty different from what you saw. Anyway, thank you for showing Barcelona, the home city of Seat, in your blog. Next time you pop in around, let me know, I might help you in your work. Best regards,

    1. Hello José,
      Many thanks for your comment and offer for help, I will make sure I’ll let you know next time I’m in Barcelona.
      The city observations I publish are never meant to be exact science but just observations, so perhaps as you say a lot of wealthier car drivers may have been out on holidays, but then some of their cars would still be parked in the streets as they would have left by plane 🙂
      More seriously, I would not publish an analysis without having visited a few various parts of the city to get a global view which I have done, including the upper side you mention. I did not have the opportunity to take pictures everywhere I went which is why the pictures you see here are centred around the touristic areas. All in all, there were less new cars than some parts of France I have also visited in this trip, but more new cars than in Naples which I ‘photo snapshotted’ last March. This all correlates with respective sales figures for the past 5-6 years in France (better than Spain) and Southern Italy (worse than Spain).
      Hope this helps.
      Thanks again,
      Matt

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