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November 14, 2005

SPAIN: Santana diversifies into windmills and trains

Spanish SUV specialist Santana will make windmill parts to generate cash, but its future as an independent automaker is increasingly fragile, reports Automotive News Europe.

Spanish SUV specialist Santana will make windmill parts to generate cash, but its future as an independent automaker is increasingly fragile, reports Automotive News Europe.

Santana hopes to keep building SUVs for Suzuki until mid-2008. Its contract manufacturing deal with the Japanese car maker ends next June and may not be renewed.

Santana’s losses nearly doubled last year to EUR31.6 million. But the car maker has some good news. It has signed a deal with Spanish power-generating company Gamesa to build components for windmills that generate electricity.

The joint venture is 70% owned by Gamesa and 30% by Santana.

Santana will convert 6,500 square metres of its Linares assembly plant to build the windmill components.

Santana has also started making parts for railroad and subway passenger car manufacturer CAF of northern Spain.

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