Opel and Repsol support autogas in Spain
The cooperation between these particular two companies is far from coincidental. Repsol is a major local fuel distributor long devoted to promoting LPG as a petrol substitute (e. g. together with Fiat in the past), while Opel has a plant in Zaragoza, where autogas-powered variants of the Corsa and the Meriva are produced (the output figure is 120 cars a day). According to the deal, the carmaker will take extra effort to promote its LPG model range, while the oil company will launch 100 new autogas retail points (in addition to the existing 235) and will support Opel in terms of popularising cars running on autogas. Together the companies will work to further develop autogas technology.
What makes the entire initiative worthwhile is the fact that in Spain autogas enjoys a „green” fuel status resulting in tax breaks and incentives under the PIVE 5 and PIMA Aire schemes introduced by the government. Local authorities also support drivers choosing LPG by offering them road tax breaks and road toll discounts.
The document establishing partnership between Opel and Repsol was signed in the former's Zaragoza plant, with high officials from both participating parties present at the ceremony. And although the agreement is set to bring the two companies tangible benefits, they both enter the agreement with considerable achievements – Repsol is already the largest autogas distributor in the country and Opel has to date sold 115 thousand LPG-powered cars in various European markets. The deal coincides with a remarkable autogas demand hike in Spain – the rate of LPG consumption rise in 2013 (as compared to 2012) was 30%, while the number of autogas-powered cars on the roads as much as doubled. It is expected that the market will continue to expand dynamically in 2014, too.
Spanish autogas market had been suffering from stagnation in the past due in large part to infavourable regulations, but it has bounced off lately and is soaring. Initiatives like the one undertaken by Repsol and Opel are bound to help improve the public image of LPG in drivers' consciousness and may help further boost interest in autogas, even though demand is skyrocketing. We hope the Spanish market will continue to expand rapidly and the tens of thousands of LPG-powered cars on the roads will soon turn into hundreds of thousands. We'll keep our eyes focused on this promising part of European autogas landscape.
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