THOUSANDS of workers have been protesting outside the gates of Nissan’s Barcelona plant after receiving confirmation that it will close.
Around 3,000 redundancies will be made, with, according to unions, up to 25,000 other jobs indirectly threatened.
The bad news has been anticipated for some time, as the Olive Press previously reported.
Nissan had been suffering from overcapacity, with the Barcelona plant operating at only 20% last year. The firm’s global output will be reduced by 20% with plant closures in Spain and Indonesia.
The regional Catalan government had hoped to save the Barcelona factory by giving €3 million towards the cost of a new paint facility but Nissan has decided this is not enough.
A restructuring of the company has long been flagged but the coronavirus crisis has forced the company to push plans through as it went into the red for the first time in 11 years.
The restructuring plan is good news for the UK, however, where the future of Nissan’s Sunderland factory – and the 6,000 jobs that go with it- has been secured.
Nissan’s Chief Executive Makoto Uchida confirmed that the British plant will be at the centre of its European assembly operations.
Stephen Ma, Nissan Chief Finance Officer (CFO)said: “In western Europe, we will maintain production of core models in Sunderland and maintain efficiency.”
Spain’s Industry Ministry said in a statement that it regrets the company’s decision despite proposals to keep the plant running, and urged the car manufacturer’s executives to consider alternatives.
The Spanish government recently released a report showing that closing the plant would cost up to €1 billion in labour and contractual obligations. It proposed an investment plan to make the factory more competitive, saying it would be the cheaper option.
Nissan today reported a 671.2 billion yen (€5.67 billion) loss for the fiscal year ended in March.