Nissan makes last vehicle in Zona Franca industrial estate

After 40 years, carmaker wraps up production in biggest plant in Catalonia with a pickup truck

Last pickup truck manufactured at Nissan's Barcelona Zona Franca plant on December 16, 2021 (by Nissan)
Last pickup truck manufactured at Nissan's Barcelona Zona Franca plant on December 16, 2021 (by Nissan) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

December 16, 2021 03:03 PM

Japanese carmaker Nissan has wrapped up manufacturing at Catalonia’s biggest plant. The company based in the Barcelona Zona Franca industrial estate had been manufacturing cars there for over four decades.

With the final assembly of a ‘Navarra’ pickup truck, one of the company’s most famous vehicles, workers face an uncertain future as the manufacturing plant’s closure will leave around 1,700 employees jobless

Production for the other car model previously manufactured at the factory, the electric e-NV200 van, finished on December 9, 2021.  

Still no replacement found

On Monday, the main candidate, a Chinese car manufacturer, withdrew its candidacy to replace the Japanese carmaker.

However, union workers said they are looking into alternative options, while the Catalan business ministry confirmed that they are working "to ensure the reindustrialization process at Nissan’s plant ends well for the thousands of affected workers." 

Great Wall Motors had shown an interest in using the plant to launch their European expansion but recently decided to double their manufacturing goal of around 300,000. 

Closure had been postponed a year

At the beginning of August 2020, and following weeks of protests, Nissan reached a deal with its workers to postpone the closure of its car manufacturing plants in Catalonia until December 2021, a year later than originally planned.

While this will leave 2,525 employees in and around Barcelona jobless, unions believed that the final settlement conditions are better than initially expected.

Nissan announced its plan to close the factories in May 2020, after 40 years of operation in Catalonia.