Spain considers sale of Nissan plant to Great Wall Motor
BARCELONA, Spain (Reuters) – Spanish authorities and Nissan will start talks with Chinese group Great Wall Motor over a possible takeover of the Japanese automaker’s Barcelona plant, which is slated to close in December, have they announced on Friday.
National and regional authorities, along with Nissan, have also chosen Spanish electric motorcycle maker Silence and local engineering firm QEV Technologies – which runs an electric vehicle production center integrated by Swedish manufacturers Inzile and Volta – to negotiate the fate of two smaller factories.
The three Nissan factories in Barcelona employ around 3,000 people directly and 20,000 indirectly.
But only 1,600 direct jobs are at stake as the rest of the workers will benefit from early retirement and other measures, a CGT union source told Reuters.
The source said Great Wall is interested in the larger factory and will consider whether it could be used for the other two, while Silence and QEV Technologies are only interested in the smaller factories.
“We are convinced that we can find solutions that are beneficial for all,” Nissan industrial director in Spain, Frank Torres, said in a statement.
Dealt with Spain, the second largest car maker in Europe, Nissan announced last year the closure of its three factories as part of a global restructuring.
He initially said factories would close by December 2020, but then pushed the date back a year as he began to seek an alternative industrial project with authorities.
Great Wall Motor has not released its plan for the factories, but a source familiar with the talks said it could keep around 1,300 jobs.
A project presented by Belgian automaker Punch for Nissan factories has been ruled out from upcoming negotiations, although officials said no options were completely ruled out.