CHINA’S Great Wall Motor is set to ride to the rescue of workers at Nissan’s Barcelona plant which is due to shut down in December.

Spanish authorities and Nissan will enter talks with the company with a view to taking it over.

The fate of two smaller production facilities owned by Nissan in the region is also up for discussion, with talks involving Spanish electric motorbike company Silence and local engineering firm QEV Technologies also on the cards.

QEV operates as a  manufacturing hub for  Swedish firms Inzile and Volta.

Around 3,000 workers are presently employed at the three factories, with another 20,000 indirectly relying on the Nissan plants.

Nissan Barcelona

Of the 3,000 about 1,600 are relying on a takeover to keep their jobs. The rest have taken early retirement and redundancy packages.

The decision by Nissan to close the facilities was a severe blow to the Barcelona region.

It is part of a world-wide restructuring that will  see 20,000 jobs go, about 15% of its 130,000 strong workforce.

When the decision to close the main factory was made last year it had 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 had a production capacity of about 7 million units, but in 2019 it sold just 5.2 million cars, lorries and vans. The coronavirus crisis made the company’s situation even worse.

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