What credibility do Spanish goods have abroad?

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09 Oct 2012 19:32 by mac75 Star rating in Valencia. 408 posts Send private message

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Over recent months the Spanish government has been trying to relaunch the brand of "SPAIN"  to foreign markets. I was curious to know what everyone from abroad thought about Spanish goods or services . Do they trust them? Are they considered quality goods or professional services? When one finds out that a product is from Spain, what goes through your mind? We all know what everyone thinks about German cars or white goods. So what's the story with Spain? Does the brand carry any weight for the British or anyone else? 



A donde el corazón se inclina, el pie camina.

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09 Oct 2012 20:53 by bobaol Star rating. 2256 posts Send private message

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 Zara appears to be doing well throughout the world.

Although Spain now only has the Seat brand as a national car, VW, Mercedes, Nissan, Peugot (need I go on?) are made in Spain (not all of them, of course) so that German car could very well have been made here.  In fact, Spain is the 8th largest producer of cars in the world.  This is, actually, down from the 5th largest producer in 2008/2009.

Aircraft manufacturing is also big in Spain.  This includes Airbus and much of the aerospace industry, outstripping British contributions by more than half (less engines).

Tourism is also a huge earner accounting for some 5% of GDP.  

Most of the tiles and bathroom fittings you find on sale in other countries were produced in Spain.  Ceramics are a huge export earner and virtually every bathroom supply company in UK sells Roca (an entirely owned Spanish company) goods.  

Although Spain is in trouble, it is still one of the highest exporters of goods in the world but, like everywhere else, has found the money exports brings in is going down. However, when you drive that "German" Mercedes, fly in that "British Airways" airbus, have a bath and flush the loo in UK, it could very well have started life in Spain.  

And you thought it was all oranges and donkeys!

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09 Oct 2012 21:54 by hugh_man Star rating in Kent/Roda . 1593 posts Send private message

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 Don't forget the Olive Oil, just one region near Jaen in Spain produces more olive oil than Greece which is the worlds third largest producer. Oh and the Rioja is not to bad either.

Agriculture is still massive but suffering as are others from competition of cheap labour elsewhere.

PS the owner of Zara is now the worlds 3rd richest man, perhaps like the UK and even Greece, Spain produces revenues but seems unable to collect its taxes from the wealthy so once again austerity hits the majority and the working/middle classes.

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09 Oct 2012 22:12 by mac75 Star rating in Valencia. 408 posts Send private message

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 Ok, I'm pretty sure no one will argue about tourism. I know Spain does export a lot, you are all right, but when a Brit sees a spanish olive oil or a spanish wine next to an Italian or a French, is it viewed on the same level or is it considered better or worse than others?

Would a foreigner trust an Italian dishwasher or a german dishwasher more than a Spanish one? Just how strong is the Spanish brand abroad? Does it have a reputaion or only in certain goods like food, leather goods, and ceramics?



A donde el corazón se inclina, el pie camina.

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09 Oct 2012 22:34 by bobaol Star rating. 2256 posts Send private message

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 I think people would be more likely to choose by price.  Most white goods, electricals, TVs etc are more than often made in Taiwan or Korea nowadays.  Spain has a large white goods industry called Fagor which is based in the Basque country.  However, if you saw one these brands:

  • Fagor
  • Edesa
  • Aspes
  • Mastercook
  • Brandt
  • De Dietrich
  • Fagor Commercial

You would be hard pushed to know which is German and which is Spanish (They are all Spanish, by the way, made by Fagor).

Wine, especially Rioja, has already been mentioned but you will find Spanish wines sell very well in UK and other European countries.  Tesco sells a box with "Quality Spanish Wine" on it, Riojas are heavily pushed in wine merchants.  Spanish oranges and tomatoes are particulary prized in all the supermarkets.

I think it is now a very global market.  After all, most Bosch products are actually put together in Korea nowadays.

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10 Oct 2012 12:54 by mac75 Star rating in Valencia. 408 posts Send private message

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 I'm certain Spanish goods are of quality, I know several people envolved in manufacturing and quality is a primary issue for them, it's their only chance of beating the oriental competition. I hope it isn't just a price issue otherwise Spain doens't have much chance. I was kind of hoping that people would say that they trust a Spanish brand more than a Korean brand or  Spanish products over Italian. If it is all down to price, Spain doesn't have much of a brand does it.  I would have thought that companies like Indetex , Porcelanosa, Repsol, Iberdrola, would have helped towards positioning the Spanish brand positively, but I still perceive from some people back home that they don't consider Spain as a serious brand or contender, so to speak and limit it to wines and tourism; not good for anything else, sort of thing. Is this a misconception or is this the feeling in the UK and other countries about Spanish goods, or is it that people just aren't aware that certain companies or products are even Spanish.


A donde el corazón se inclina, el pie camina.

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10 Oct 2012 14:10 by bobaol Star rating. 2256 posts Send private message

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 I see what you mean.  Would people actually go out and buy something that was particularly Spanish?  Probably not.  I think they would pick prosciutto over serrano, Bertolli olive oil over Azada and Bosch over Fagor etc.  The only specific brands I can think of are Zara, San Miguel beer (which is quite popular in UK despite the stupid adverts)and, of course, Santander bank.  

Spain's "hidden" brands are probably worth more.  Cars, aircraft, porcelain (I bet most people would think Porcelanosa is Italian) and the fact that Scottish Power is owned by Iberdrola.  Specialist shops selling Lladro and Nao porcelain also do well but, Spain as an actual "brand" is probably non-existent.  

Mind you, the cafe in Coronation Street had a "Spanish evening" the other night so that might give people ideas.


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10 Oct 2012 14:17 by mac75 Star rating in Valencia. 408 posts Send private message

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Hahaha! Just what Spain needed, Coronation Street promoting it! Maybe Europe and the rest of the world will take notice now!!! :)

This message was last edited by mac75 on 11/10/2012.


A donde el corazón se inclina, el pie camina.

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13 Oct 2012 07:38 by This_Cat´s_Abroad Star rating in Erbil, Iraq. 2 posts Send private message

I currently live in Iraq, and products from the West routinely appear for a short period of time and then disappear. Don Simon and Pascual were here for an all to short run last year. No one apart from my husband & I were familiar with their products but they quickly earned a diehard following among expats.

" ... I came to live out loud." - Emile Zola

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13 Oct 2012 10:46 by baabaabing Star rating. 60 posts Send private message

viceroy makes the most amazing wrist bands.
Thanks to Fernando Alonso for creating brand awareness.
Spanish value and really well made.

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13 Oct 2012 15:16 by Pasha01 Star rating. 40 posts Send private message

 Don't foget Tiles and Ceramics. Porcelanosa has splendid products, not cheap I know. Spanish agriculture, Millions of lettices, Fruit and other vegetables.

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13 Oct 2012 15:23 by baabaabing Star rating. 60 posts Send private message

13 Oct 2012 16:34 by 66d35 Star rating. 243 posts Send private message

Classical guitars.

In that field, Spanish luthiers (guitar makers) number among the world's greatest, for example, Romanillos, played by Julian Bream.

Others include Casimiro Lozano, Andreas Marvi, Ramirez and numerous other big names: in guitar making.

Not exactly a bulk export, but at prices from €10,000 to €25,000 each, guitars built by Spain's high-end luthiers have reputationrespected everywhere,  and are played by some of the the world's finest musicians.

There is also a very active and well respected export market in mid-range guitars from spain, in the prices range between €750 and €3,000 each.








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13 Oct 2012 17:46 by Team GB Star rating. 1245 posts Send private message

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Apprently, two hundred million euros worth of Serrano ham was exported last year.

Its hard to believe so I'll post a link





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15 Oct 2012 02:21 by llegaralasestrellas Star rating in United Kingdom (BHX .... 58 posts Send private message

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Also worth noting that Zara is just one of the brands of Spanish company Inditex - they have lots of other brands they also operate like Bershka (big in mainland Europe and Asia, less so in UK), Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti, Stradivarius, Oysho, Uterque and Tempe.

Also there are several big Spanish companies in the travel industry. The Amadeus IT system is used by almost all of the major airlines. Ferrovial is an infrastructure company that owns BAA in the UK and does a ton of contract work on PFIs. Acciona is another company in the same mold.

You also have companies like CASA (part of the EADS group) and Navantia which build aircraft and ships respectivly. These all do fairly well internationally. The Thai navy's aircraft carrier was built by Navantia.

The automotive industry is also pretty big and well respected, alongside VW-Seat you have companies like Hispano (owned by Tata these days) which handles buses and general engineering.



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15 Oct 2012 15:55 by mac75 Star rating in Valencia. 408 posts Send private message

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 There are loads of Spanish companies  but would an average Brit choose a Spanish good over a German or Italian or American good? Is it considered on the same level given the choice?

an example :  1.Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil

                          2.Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

                          3.Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil

                          4.Californian Extra Virgin Olive OIl


Which order would you put them in given the choice?


A donde el corazón se inclina, el pie camina.

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20 Oct 2012 18:14 by rubencito Star rating. 11 posts Send private message

 Has anybody mentioned that Spanish trains are used in almost every country in the world?


Annemarie Bakker

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21 Oct 2012 17:55 by LlegarALasEstrellas Star rating in United Kingdom (BHX .... 58 posts Send private message

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Good ole CAF and Talgo, very true. The DfT here should have insisted Virgin use Talgo rather than Pendolino stock for the WCML - Talgos are way more comfortable - and also reliable.

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21 Oct 2012 18:58 by GuyT Star rating. 494 posts Send private message

 I read an informative article a few years ago about Fagor, it being an industrial co-op in Basque country. I bought - on the same day - a Fagor oven, induc tion hob & dishwasher. All have been a disappointment, the oven being particularly shoddy - none of the flimsy timer buttons have worked since soon after buying. We live in the campo - bought the stuff at Corte Inglese - but dismantling the oven to make a warranty claim in more trouble than it's worth. Once bitten twice shy, bought a fridge last week - BOSCH! But their jamon Iberico belota can't be gainsaid.


I like fresh, cheap Spanish wine - the Eu 3 stuff. All the wine in the 5 - 10 EU bracket tastes of wet musty barrels. If it's Reserva stay well away, extra wet. mouldy damp tasting. It's the way they (the Spanish) like it - it's quite deliberate. (In a previous life I used to be a wine farmer).

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24 Oct 2012 12:05 by eos_ian Star rating in Valencia. 489 posts Send private message

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 Unfortunately I don't think Spanish goods have the credit they deserve abroad. Spain has been labeled as a tourism destination and not a manufacturer or producer of great products, as far as the general public is concerned. They are famous for summer holidays, leather shoes, maybe cermaics, Rioja (which is the only region of wine that has really become established), paella and bull fighting! The truth behind the Spanish brand is very different. I think it is an iniciative that is very necessary and will take time, but Spain is a lot more than just holidays, wine and food! There is a general consensus that Spain has to start investing more in marketing and positional it's brands and making them stand alone and not just as cheaper alternative. Quality is of primary importance now.




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