Electric battery manufacturer Schneider Electric could be ready to invest in Nissan factories

Potential €3.5 billion deal could create 3,000 jobs directly and a further 18,000 indirectly

President of Foment, Catalonia's main business association, Josep Sánchez Llibre (by Lluís Sibils)
President of Foment, Catalonia's main business association, Josep Sánchez Llibre (by Lluís Sibils) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

September 4, 2020 04:38 PM

Schneider Electric, manufacturers of electric batteries, could be in line to invest €3.5 billion to restructure the Nissan factories in Barcelona, the Catalan News Agency (ACN) learnt, although the firm has not confirmed it. 

Should the deal go through, 3,000 jobs would be created directly, and up to an additional 18,000 indirectly. 

The announcement of a potential deal comes from the president of Foment, Catalonia’s main business association, Josep Sánchez Llibre, in an interview with the ACN. 

He did not unveil the name of the company, but Sánchez Llibre revealed that the project is already quite well developed, and it could act as a supplier to car manufacturer Seat, as well as other plants in southern Europe. 

Recently, Japanese carmaker Nissan announced their plans to leave Catalonia and close their plants in the territory, sparking months of protests from staff and a strike that ended only on August 31.

Eventually, Nissan reached a deal with employees that would see production remain in their Catalan factories a year longer than originally announced, with 2,525 workers being laid off by December 2021. 

According to the president of Foment, Schneider Electric is intent on settling in Catalonia. "If the manufacturer of electric batteries does not come to Catalonia, the automotive sector could disappear in 10 years," Llibre also warned.

The company is one of a number of potential deals on the table to take over the plants, and South Korean technology firm LG is another interested. according to Tv3 public broadcaster. Few details have been revealed due to the confidentiality of the negotiations.

"We have powerful and competitive alternatives, so when 2021 passes we can evaluate very important industrial projects," the Foment president says, also pointing out that he is committed to Barcelona remaining as one of the most important hubs for mobility and the automotive industry across Spain.