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Capital: Madrid
Area: 505,935 km²
Population: 47.076,781

The industrial sector accounts for 20.2% of GDP and of total employment. Manufacturing is the most important industry as it accounts alone for around 11% of GDP (World Bank, 2019). 

The industrial sector is dominated by textiles, industrial food processing, iron and steel, naval machines, and engineering. New sectors such as outsourcing of electronic components production, information technology, and telecommunications provide high growth potential. According to a report from KPMG and the Spanish Confederation of Employers' Organizations carried out in April 2020, 27% of businesses in the industrial sector recognize an impact of the COVID-19 related crisis in their activity of more than 80%, but taking into consideration those whose slowdown exceeds 50% of their pre-COVID-19 activity, the total impact rises to 63%.  Data by INE shows that the GDP generated by the industrial sector fell by 23.8% during the second quarter of 2020.

Spain ranks second in Europe and eighth worldwide in automaking. The leading automotive companies worldwide have 17 manufacturing plants in Spain.

The Spanish automotive industry represents 10% of Spain’s GDP and 18% of total exports.

From 2014 to 2019 production increased by 17.5%.  In 2019, 2,822,360 vehicles were manufactured in Spain. The assembly industry generates a trade surplus of €10.6 bn.

The automotive industry generates a significant amount of employment: nearly 2 million jobs are linked to this industry, and of those, 300,000 are direct.

The industry (assembly and the automotive supplier sector) invests on average an estimated at €4 bn a year in expanding and modernizing plants. In 2019, the vehicle manufacturing industry saw €2.7 billion in investments.

In 2019, 82% of the vehicles manufactured in Spain were exported to over 100 countries. In 2019, 2,310,070 vehicles were destined for foreign markets, with nearly two million exported to EU countries, and exports to destinations outside the EU increased significantly.

Exports to Africa, primarily Algeria, Egypt, South Africa and Tunisia were up 48.5% and also increased in other destinations outside of the EU like Mexico, Brazil and Chile. 

Spanish production plants are among the most efficient and automated in Europe, with 1,000 industrial robots for every 10,000 employees. This industry is one of the largest investors in modernization, automation, and RDI of any industrial sector, and provides full value chain flexibility in the industry. The Spanish auto supply industry accounts for 75% of the vehicle’s value.

Spare Parts Industry
1,000 automotive suppliers from 720 business groups are in the country, guaranteeing service and supplies for manufacturing plants. The spare parts industry invoiced €37.17 bn in 2019 and invests 4.2% of its turnover in RDI.

The aerospace and defense industry is highly developed in Spain. In 2019 the Spanish market saw 13.4 billion euros in turnover and over 57,600 people employed.

The industry is characterized by its continuous and steady growth over the last decade (83.7% since 2008) and significant investment in R&D, which accounts for 9% of the industry’s sales.

The aerospace and defense industry is a strategic sector for the Spanish economy, since:

•    It creates high-quality employment
•    Accounts for 1% of total Spanish GDP and 7.3% of the Spanish Industrial Production Index.
•    It is key for the foreign sector. In 2019, 71% of sales were from exports.
•    It is geared to RDI (the results of research in this sector are also often used in other industries)

The Spanish aeronautics industry is a world leader in many fields, including composite materials for aircraft structures, low-pressure turbines, air traffic management systems and military transport aircraft.

Spain is one of the few countries capable of covering the entire design and manufacturing cycle of an aircraft, due to the presence of major OEM (Airbus) and Tier-1 companies such as Aernnova, Aciturri, Héroux-Devtek and ITP.

Sources: Eurostat, European Commission,