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Seat, Nissan, Ficosa, Gestamp and Doga back up the creation of an automation cluster in Catalonia

The President of the Catalan Government announced the initiative which will aim to develop an industry and knowledge cluster of the automation sector. The cluster would profit from the multinational companies based in Catalonia, the country’s industrial sector traditionally linked to cars and bikes, the export infrastructures, Barcelona’s car fair, the Formula-1 racing circuit and the innovation, design and education centres. The new cluster is fully supported by the Catalan Government, since automation is one of the main engines driving Catalonia’s economy. It aims to strengthen the sector’s competitiveness, foster cooperation between companies, facilitate the education and training of professionals, develop innovation and implement strategic agendas such as sustainable mobility and electrical vehicles.

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01 May 2013 12:10 AM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- On Tuesday, some of the most important companies in Catalonia\u2019s automation sector gave their explicit support to the development of a car and motorbike cluster to foster business, innovation, training and sustainability. Seat, Nissan, Ficosa, Gestamp and Doga supported the initiative in an event at the Catalan Government\u2019s Palace in Barcelona. The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, announced the initiative on Monday, coinciding with Barcelona\u2019s International Car Fair in the days ahead, which is one of the most important events in Europe since Spain\u2019s car and motorbike industry is traditionally based in Greater Barcelona. The automation cluster would profit from the multinational companies based in Catalonia, the country\u2019s industrial sector traditionally linked to cars and bikes, the export infrastructures (such as Barcelona\u2019s Port and the Mediterranean Railway Corridor), the Catalan capital\u2019s car fair, the Formula-1 racing circuit and the innovation, design and education centres. The new cluster is fully supported by the Catalan Government, since automation has traditionally been one of the main engines driving Catalonia\u2019s economy and it can play a great role in the economy\u2019s future growth and in the creation of jobs, according to the Catalan President. The cluster project aims to strengthen the sector\u2019s competitiveness, foster cooperation between companies, facilitate the education and training of professionals, develop innovation and implement strategic agendas such as sustainable mobility and electrical vehicles. The companies that have already backed the initiative are a combination of multinational companies based in Catalonia (such as Ficosa and Doga), abroad (such as Nissan), in other parts of Spain (such as Gestamp) and originally based in Catalonia but bought out by an international group (such as Seat, which is part of the Volkswagen Group). They also represent car manufacturers (Nissan and Seat) and companies producing car components (Gestamp, Ficosa and Doga). The Catalan Minister for Business and Employment, Felip Puig, emphasised that the cluster will be open to more companies working in the sector and operating in Catalonia.


On Tuesday, representatives of Seat, Nissan, Ficosa, Gestamp and Doga met with the President of the Catalan Government in Barcelona to illustrate their support for the project. \u201CWe have good musicians, now we need them to play as a good orchestra\u201D, stated Artur Mas in the event at the Generalitat Palace. The Catalan President was referring to one of the cluster\u2019s objectives: to foster cooperation between companies in order to improve competitiveness. Mas celebrated the genesis of the cluster, since according to him it shows how a sector \u201Cwith roots and a present\u201D in Catalonia can cooperate to work for a better future. Mas emphasised that the new cluster has leading international companies, it combines car manufacturers with their auxiliary industries, it also includes car sellers and fairs, as well as universities and innovation and design centres.

Mas explained that Catalonia was a pioneer in the automation industry, in the early 20th century. It also was a pioneer in creating clusters and \u201Cnow we need to be pioneers again\u201D. In this sense, the Catalan President announced that very soon there will be an initiative offering vocational training linked to the automation industry. \u201CWe need to give a positive message: a traditional industry such as automation has a future\u201D, he stated.

During the event at the Catalan Government\u2019s palace, Mas added that \u201Cone of the good sides of the economic crisis\u201D is the improvement of the industry\u2019s competitiveness, which is happening \u201Cwhile in Europe car factories are closing\u201D. The Catalan President thanked the recent agreements reached between companies and trade unions to improve competitiveness in the factories located in Catalonia. According to him, this will guarantee employment in the mid-term.

The Catalan automation sector has a turnover of \u20AC14 billion per year. It also generates 100,000 jobs in Catalonia, 36,000 directly. In addition, it represents 25% of Spain\u2019s automation sector. The Catalan car and motorbike industry exports 80% of the vehicles built and 50% of the vehicle components. Therefore, according to the Catalan Minister for Business and Employment, Felip Puig, this sector is \u201Cessential\u201D for economic recovery.

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  • A family photo of the car cluster's presentation (by A. Recolons)

  • A family photo of the car cluster's presentation (by A. Recolons)