The automotive industry never stops moving, Catalonia always keeps you connected

A strong industry: The 3rd largest sector in Catalonia

1 out of every 4 vehicles manufactured in Spain is produced in Catalonia, making it Spain’s most significant automotive manufacturing centre. With more than 10,895 automotive companies (including distribution and vehicle repair), the Catalan automotive sector generates 37,828 direct jobs - 84,015 including distribution and vehicle repair-. Annual turnover is at €16,219M, 7% of the Catalan turnover. Home to all levels of the value chain, Catalonia also leads the field in terms of research, engineering and support services, featuring all the automotive OEM development centres in Spain, most of the engineering units of the parts suppliers and the entire ecosystem of technical services.

Global and with access to both markets and suppliers

Catalonia is a global automotive hub and generates 23% of Spanish vehicle exports. Automotive manufacturers also make up 892 Catalan regular exporters (31% of the Spanish total). In part, this is due to its excellent communications, both internal and external, with full-modal integration transport systems. Catalonia is also a highly efficient hub to European, North African and Latin American markets, with over 400 million customers reachable in less than 48 hours. 

It is no surprise, therefore, that it is a leading destination for automotive FDI, where it is the 2nd region in Western Europe for capital investment and job creation (Jan 2013 - Dec 2017)

Competitive and highly R&D focused

Catalonia has a critical mass of R&D centres and universities specialising in the automotive industry. Different automotive manufacturers also base their R&D and engineering centres here, while the Automotive Industry Cluster of Catalonia (CIAC) is highly active.

Talent and business oriented

Catalonia boasts qualified workers with labour costs well below other comparable countries. Ambitious government policies also boost productive FDI, including employment and fiscal incentives for foreign companies and expats and fast-track visa processing.

Catalonia connects you to new business opportunities

  • Connected to sustainability
    Catalonia promotes the use of sustainable and alternative fuel vehicles, offering aids and incentives for vehicles purchase, charge infrastructure, fleet support, among others. Catalonia has developed the public-private platform LIVE open to all entities involved in sustainable mobility, mainly electric and CNG vehicles, with the shared goal of developing projects, policies, strategies, new business models and creating a knowledge network. 
  • Connected to Industry 4.0
    OEM Manufacturers and their suppliers in Catalonia have been investing in factories 4.0 and usage of industrial robots is rising. Catalonia is now one of Europe’s major automotive R&D, engineering, IT and software development hubs. 
  • Connected to the components
    The local automotive value chain here has a need for companies and manufacturers of molds and dies, new materials and plastic injection. To this end, Catalonia has a critical mass of automotive companies and centres that provide technology development, innovation and industrialization on all levels. 
  • Connected to logistics
    Catalonia is the most competitive logistics centre for the markets of Europe, the Mediterranean/Africa and South America. Its logistics importance is evident in the amount of relevant sectorial fairs and congresses held in Barcelona, such as the International Logistics and Material Handling Exhibition or the European Supply Chain and Logistics Summit. 
  • Connected to the Shared Economy
    Catalonia is also an attractive location for new shared economy companies with many leading accelerators, top tech events and entrepreneurs. Thanks to this, many huge companies like Airbnb, Wallapop and Socialcar have global or national headquarters in Barcelona, and their presence also stimulates the city´s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • Connected to the autonomous driving future
    Catalonia is prepared for the future with different initiatives working in this area. Catalonia Living Lab provides all scenarios required for the development, testing and validation of connected and autonomous vehicles in both controlled environments and in open road conditions. Furthermore, the Industrial Forum for the Connected Vehicle and Automated Driving (IFCVAD) is a public-private forum aimed at creating a suitable environment for developing of technologies and knowledge around vehicle connectivity and autonomous driving. 
  • Connected to connectivity
    Connectivity is fundamental to the future of driving and the Mobile World Conference – making Barcelona into the permanent global centre for mobile technologies – now has an increasing presence of car companies and automobile applied technologies. Barcelona also hosts the most international Smart City conference to date and is quickly becoming a hotspot for IoT development, with the IoT World Congress, which attracts key players in this field.

Catalonia Living Lab

Discover your partner in Europe for the future of mobility

Feel free to contact us for further information

Passeig de Gràcia, 129


Tel: (+34) 93 4767287

Download Photonics Technological Snapshot

115 companies belonging to the photonics industry have been identified in Catalonia with a turnover of € 1,708 million (2016).

The Automotive Industry Cluster of Catalonia (CIAC) is open to companies operating in the automotive industry, that are based in Catalonia and pursue R&D+i activities.


Nissan produces the electric eNV200 van in its factory in Barcelona for the rest of the world. Since its start in April 2014 until November 2015, the production of eNV200 represented 34% of the EVs produced in Spain. And recently, the Japanese firm also began global production of the Nissan Navara NP300, designed for Europe at the Nissan Technical Centre in Barcelona.


SEAT, the Spanish Volkswagen subsidiary based in Barcelona manufactures and designs its vehicles in Catalonia in its 2,800,000 m² facilities. Producing around 2,100 units daily, it ships to 75 countries via road, sea and rail. One of the key areas of SEAT’s facilities is the 5,600 m² SEAT Design Center (SDC) containing state-of-the-art technology to ensure that design is at the heart of the brand’s future.

Technical facilities, labs, test tracks and proving grounds of Applus+ IDIADA are located in L'Albornar, Tarragona. Proving ground is the most comprehensive independent proving ground in Europe.

Covering worldwide needs related to development and testing of connected and automated vehicles

May 2017, 13th-21st.

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