Chinese car manufacturer Chery expected to sign deal to build electric vehicles in Barcelona

Europe's first Chinese automobile factory deal could take place soon, but some details still pending

Aerial view of the former Nissan factory in Zona Franca, Barcelona
Aerial view of the former Nissan factory in Zona Franca, Barcelona / ACN

ACN | @agenciaacn | Barcelona

April 10, 2024 08:10 PM

The Chinese state-owned automobile manufacturer based in Wuhu, Chery, is expected to sign a deal to build electric vehicles in Barcelona's Zona Franca port area on April 19, as sources close to the negotiation said on Wednesday.

While the last details are still pending, the signature event planning is already underway as it will be a "historic" act with the attendance of Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez, as well as executives of both the Catalan government and Barcelona city council.

The deal is almost ready, but these sources reminded that some details are still pending.

In fact, on Wednesday, Catalan labor and business minister Roger Torrent traveled to the Chinese region of Wuhu to meet up with managers of the car manufacturer.

He said before leaving Catalonia, "We will continue to be cautious until all the involved parties can explain the results."

He added that the Catalan government "trusts that the reindustrialization of Nissan's old factory will have a happy ending."

The Omoda brand, part of the Chery group, has already announced that they will unveil the investment plan in next week's event.

During the negotiations, there have been reports on the plans to build 50,000 electric vehicles and employ 300 people in the old Nissan factory in the Zona Franca area. The first 150 employees will be hired during the first months of 2024, while the rest will join the company starting in the year's second half.

If the deal goes through, Chery's will be Europe's first Chinese car manufacturer factory.

Managers of B-Tech, currently the solo company controlling the electromobility hub in the Zona Franca area, have also traveled to China recently.