Nissan to invest €100 million in its Barcelona plant to build its totally electric new van model
The decision represents the creation of 700 direct and indirect jobs. Car manufacturer Nissan has confirmed it will build the new ‘e-NV200’, a totally electric van at its Zona Franca plant from next year. The plant is located in Barcelona, next to the city’s port and airport. From there, the new van will be distributed worldwide. Barcelona competed with other Nissan plants in China, Japan and Mexico. In addition, Nissan managers were confident that Barcelona’s plant could produce other models in the future.
Barcelona (ACN).- Nissan will build its new van model at its Barcelona plant, located in the Zona Franca district, next to the city\u2019s port and airport. The new \u2018e-NV200\u2019 will be a totally electric vehicle, an evolution of the \u2018NV200\u2019, which is already built in the Catalan capital. The new model will bring an investment of \u20AC100 million and is expected to create 700 direct and indirect jobs. The \u2018e-NV200\u2019 will start to be assembled in 2013, and will be sold worldwide. In the first year, Nissan expects to build 20,000 units from Barcelona. The Catalan capital was competing with Nissan plants in China, Japan and Mexico to receive the new assignment, as they were also producing the old \u2018NV200 model\u2019. Nissan managers \u201Cthanked\u201D the Zona Franca plant\u2019s workers for \u201Ctheir generosity\u201D, after they had signed a new collective agreement increasing internal flexibility and reducing costs. On Wednesday the Japanese company organised an institutional presentation, attended by the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas. Mas emphasised \u201Cthe moral boost\u201D the news represents for \u201Cthe entire country, for the companies, and for those looking for a job\u201D. Besides, Nissan\u2019s managers stated that in the future Barcelona\u2019s plant \u201Ccould absorb\u201D the production of models currently developed at other plants, which have reached capacity, due to improved competitiveness.
The new \u2018e-NV200\u2019 will only be produced in Barcelona. Therefore, Nissan\u2019s Catalan factory will serve the world market. The \u2018e-NV200\u2019 has a wide interior design, and it can have either an industrial or a family use. It will be Nissan\u2019s second 100% electric vehicle, after having released the saloon Nissan Leaf in 2012. Currently the Nissan Leaf can travel 160 kilometres without having to recharge its batteries. The batteries used by the \u2018e-NV200\u2019 are produced in the United Kingdom, while the electric circuits will be developed by Catalan companies.
The Catalan President emphasised that \u201Cdespite the dark clouds\u201D on the horizon, \u201Cfrom time to time the sun shines\u201D, thanks to investments such as Nissan\u2019s. Mas also wished to thank Nissan\u2019s workers for having agreed to modify the collective agreement and making it more flexible, something that has contributed to \u201Censure the plant\u2019s future\u201D. The Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, was also present at the event. Both Mas and Trias have coincided to indicate that investments such as the one made by Nissan is what the Spanish, the Catalan and Barcelona\u2019s economies need in order to recover from the crisis and gain competitiveness.
1.5 million electric cars in 2016
Andy Palmer, Nissan Executive Vice President for Marketing, after underlining the workers\u2019 effort to improve the plant\u2019s competitiveness, emphasised the Japanese company\u2019s commitment with its facilities in Spain. In addition, Palmer explained that the company expects to sell 1.5 million totally electric cars by 2016, including the Nissan Leaf and the eNV200. In addition, Nissan expects to build two other electric vehicles: the \u2018L-E\u2019 and a fourth model that will be presented at a later date.
Barcelona could absorb the production of other vehicles
There is the possibility that in 2013, the model X-83 will be no longer be produced. 70,000 units were assembled at Barcelona\u2019s plant in 2011. However, the Vice President of the company, Andy Palmer and Takao Katagiri, emphasised that Barcelona\u2019s competitiveness had improved with the new collective agreement. Therefore, Barcelona \u201Ccould absorb\u201D some of the production lines that are currently spread across other plants throughout the world, which have reached the limit of their production capacity. Nonetheless, they have not specified which models might be built in Barcelona in the future. Palmer emphasised that Barcelona ranks as Nissan\u2019s fourth plant in the world regards production capacity. Last year, the 3.500 workers in Barcelona produced 140,000 vehicles. 70,000 units were produced in the line 1, where the \u2018Phantder\u2019, \u2018Navarra\u2019, and \u2018NV200\u2019 were produced, and 70,000 \u2018X83\u2019 models were assembled in the line 2.
In 2011, Nissan sold 4.5 million vehicles worldwide, which represents selling 600,000 more units than in 2010. Forecasts for 2012 indicate that Nissan might sell 5 million vehicles, 500,000 more than in 2011. This increase in the number of vehicles sold is expected to be reached by improving the factories\u2019 competitiveness, releasing 10 new models and enlarging its sale points network by 9% worldwide.