HOPES that Nissan’s plant in Barcelona may escape the axe look to have been dashed.
The regional government in Catalonia had been investigating how it could help make the factory competitive again through grants for new facilities after rumours surfaced on May 14 that the premises would be closed.
But reports from the Japanese press have now confirmed that the axe will fall on the unprofitable production facilities and 3,000 Spanish jobs, as part of a global restructuring plan.
Nissan currently employs 4,000 workers in Spain.
The plan will see 20,000 jobs go world-wide, about 15% of Nissan’s 130,000 strong workforce.
The company has refused to comment on what it calls press speculation, pointing to May 28 as the date a new strategic plan will be revealed.
But leaks to the press have shown that the Barcelona plant – where staff are currently on strike – is to be closed and the Catalan government is taking the threat very seriously.
It proposed paying about €3 million for a new paint plant and said it was more expensive to close the factory than to make it competitive.
The factory has been producing just 55,000 units a year, or 10% of the total units manufactured in Europe by the Japanese and far from the theoretical maximum capacity of 200,000 vehicles per year.
Globally, Nissan currently has a production capacity of about 7 million units, but last year they sold just 5.2 million cars, lorries and vans. The coronavirus crisis has made the company’s overcapacity situation even worse.