Nissan Motor may be closing its Barcelona factory as the Japanese carmaker plans a new global strategic direction. The company is in a drive to reduce its global capacity by 20% which could mean the end for its Barcelona-area plant as its production is moved to Renault plants.
The factory generates 3,200 direct and 25,000 indirect jobs and it had just re-opened after being locked down by the Spanish government in the middle of March in their effort to mitigate the risk of the Coronavirus. It opened again on 4 May but within just two days, however, it’s employees began to strike indefinitely.
The carmaker has suffered a strong impact from the Coronavirus, which has forced it to keep both car factories and dealerships closed for several weeks in China, Europe and the United States. Last fiscal year (which ended on 31 March 2020) the company reported losses of around 818 million euro.
It is rumoured that the company wants to reduce its presence in Europe to focus on North America, China and Asia. Nissan would reduce the current production capacity from seven million units to five and a half million.
The Minister of Business for the Generalitat of Catalonia, Àngels Chacón, has asked the company for “loyalty and clarity”. He revealed that he had been in contact with the president of Nissan in Europe and the CEO of the Nissan plant in Barcelona and that both told him that the decision “was not made.”
In January, Pedro Sánchez tweeted:
“Maintaining employment at the Nissan plant in Barcelona is guaranteed. During our meeting today at # Davos2020, the Government of Spain and @Alliance_RNM have reaffirmed our will to continue working together to ensure the viability of the factory.”
El mantenimiento del empleo en la planta de Nissan en Barcelona está garantizado. Durante nuestro encuentro de hoy en #Davos2020, el Gobierno de España y @Alliance_RNM hemos reafirmado nuestra voluntad para seguir trabajando juntos para asegurar la viabilidad de la factoría. pic.twitter.com/wUOJJtkwW4
— Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) January 22, 2020
The “operational performance plan” is due to be announced on 28 May when the future of the plant will also be made clear.