car manufacturer

Barcelona-based Seat presents its new León SC car model in Geneva

March 5, 2013 11:16 PM | CNA

Seat, which is owned by Volkswagen, will assemble the new car in its Greater Barcelona plant. The new León SC has a more coupé design, with three doors, and will be on sale by May. It comes after last year’s launch of the five-door Seat León at the Paris Car Fair. James Muir, the President of Seat, stated that the brand will “explore new territories” with the new model, which has “dynamic” bodywork. According to Muir, this “guarantees the pleasure of driving” without diminishing “functionality”. The Catalan car manufacturer has also confirmed that it will stop building its Seat Exeo saloon car model as of July. In 2012, Seat posted overall losses, due to a drop in the Spanish market, and now Germany is fast becoming its main market.

Nissan will assemble its new saloon car model in Barcelona

February 4, 2013 11:12 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

After having reached an agreement on the measures to increase competitiveness with the trade unions last week, the Japanese multinational car manufacturer finally confirmed on Monday that its Barcelona plant will be building Nissan’s new saloon car model as of July 2014. The decision will bring in a direct investment of €130 million, creating 1,000 direct positions in the Nissan factory and 3,000 indirect jobs in the Catalan automobile parts supply industry. After seven months of talks, including a critical period when Barcelona seemed to be out of the race, the Nissan managers and trade unions finally reached an agreement early last week, based on a 20% salary reduction for new workers and guaranteeing the oldest jobs. The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, emphasised that Nissan’s announcement confirms that Catalonia is “an attractive and reliable country”.

Nissan confirms that Barcelona is in the race to build its new sedan car again

January 29, 2013 10:36 PM | CNA

After having ruled out Barcelona because unions refused to sign Nissan’s final offer of modifying working conditions and reducing salaries in order to increase competitiveness, the unions made an about-turn. With the Catalan Government’s mediation, the main union signed Nissan’s final offer and the two others (CCOO and UGT) presented their own cost reduction plan, accepting almost all of the company’s requirements, including the dual salary scale. After a day-long negotiation between the Catalan Business Ministry and the unions, CCOO and UGT agreed to sign Nissan’s agreement if the company guaranteed the jobs of the existing workers. Nissan has accepted and now the European branch will put its Barcelona plant forward to the Japanese headquarters, which will soon allocate the new car production.

Trade unions make a last attempt to attract Nissan’s new car model to Barcelona by proposing their own cost reduction plan

January 28, 2013 10:28 PM | CNA / Esther Romagosa

After Nissan’s announcement that Barcelona would not build its new car model, the Catalan Government and the trade unions have been trying to persuade the Japanese company to change its mind. The six-month negotiation was derailed ten days ago, when Nissan considered the talks to be over as the unions refused to sign its final proposal. However, the company has not announced where the new car will be built yet. The union representing the majority of the Catalan plant’s workers has already signed Nissan’s proposal, but the unions CCOO and UGT – the main ones in Catalonia – have insisted on presenting their own proposal, based on Nissan’s need to make reductions of €30 million. A few days ago, Nissan stated that it was too late, but now it says it will study the union’s proposal to look at the details.

Car manufacturer SEAT and trade unions agree on a cost reduction plan in order to save 340 jobs

January 25, 2013 11:04 PM | CNA

After an 8.3% drop in car sales in 2012, SEAT announced it would lay off 400 temporary workers and it would reduce administration and commercial costs, to the equivalent of 340 additional jobs. Finally, after three days of negotiation, the car company and the workers’ representatives have signed an agreement by which the workers will lose part of the extra hours accumulated but there will not be additional layoffs or a salary reduction. However, the 400 temporary workers will be made redundant and will have to leave the company. Additionally, the Spanish Government has announced that it will double the public budget to stimulate car purchases.

Seat decided to lay off 400 temporary workers due to sales drop

January 21, 2013 11:53 PM | CNA

The Barcelona-based brand, which is part of the Volkswagen group, had announced an 8.3% drop of car sales in 2012, compared to 2011, due to the recession in Spain, which is Seat’s main market. The increase of sales in foreign markets could not balance out last year’s results. In order to recover from this drop in sales, the company has decided to slow down the production of new cars and 400 workers are to be made redundant. Seat hired 600 temporary workers a few months ago due to positive results in 2011, two thirds of which will be laid off. The company will discuss its plans with the trade unions.

Nissan’s new car model, an investment of €130 million creating 4,000 jobs, will not be built in Barcelona

January 18, 2013 10:25 PM | CNA

Trade unions refused to sign the Japanese company’s final offer to increase the competitiveness of Barcelona’s plant by reducing salaries and changing working conditions, so Nissan announced the end of the talks after 6 months of negotiation and meditation by the Catalan Government. Before Christmas, the Japanese company had already warned the unions that talks were coming to an end as the production of the new sedan car needed to be allocated. Back then Nissan presented a final offer, which has however been modified in the last few days. Once the agreement seemed to be imminent, Nissan floated the idea of a two-day reduction in holiday days, which the unions immediately rejected. Nissan warned that its Barcelona plant might now face “a slow-death scenario”.

Seat improved international sales but sold 8.3% fewer cars in 2012 due to the crisis in Spain

January 14, 2013 09:52 PM | CNA

Barcelona-based car manufacturer Seat, which is part of the Volkswagen Group, delivered 8.3% fewer cars in 2012 compared to the previous year. In total, it sold 321,000 vehicles, instead of the 350,000 units of 2011. The decrease is due to the drop in car sales in Spain because of the economic recession. However, Seat sold 22.5% more cars in Germany and 8.2% more vehicles in the UK. The Catalan car manufacturer also increased its sales in Mexico by 16.5%. Overall, the Volkswagen Group sold 9.07 million cars in 2012, an increase of 11.2%. The group obtained positive results in all markets except Southern Europe (-0.3%) and Western Europe – excluding Germany – (-6.5%).

Nissan and unions are negotiating a salary drop to keep current jobs in Barcelona and add 1,000 more

December 20, 2012 11:14 PM | CNA / Esther Romagosa

Nissan is considering allocating the production of a new sedan car to its Catalan plant: a €130 million investment creating 1,000 direct and 3,000 indirect new jobs. However, the company is asking for salaries and working conditions to be adjusted in order to increase competitiveness. Barcelona hosts one of the main factories the Japanese automotive company has in Europe and in May it allocated the construction of a new pickup model, after a previous modification to the working conditions. The talks for the new adjustment have been ongoing since the summer but now they are at a crucial moment, since Nissan is about to make its final decision. The company has just made a counter-offer based on a minor and more progressive salary drop. In addition, it warns unions that without the new model, the company will have to lay off 600 workers as from next year.

Car manufacturer Seat starts production of the new León after investing €800 million in its Catalan plant

October 26, 2012 01:35 AM | CNA

The production of the new Seat León, the brand’s flagship model, guarantees 1,600 direct jobs and 6,000 indirect ones in the supply industries. The car manufacturing company, owned by Volkswagen, has its only plant in Martorell, Greater Barcelona. The company has great expectations of the new Seat León, which will be distributed worldwide from Catalonia. The new car model is the milestone of Seat’s commercial and strategic plan for this year, with the objective of becoming profitable again. It will be sold in three different versions: a five-door and a three-door model, and a station wagon car.

Nissan to invest €100 million in its Barcelona plant to build its totally electric new van model

May 24, 2012 12:34 AM | CNA

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.

Renault and Nissan to use Catalonia-based Ficosa’s gearbox in their new mid-range vehicles in their main markets worldwide

October 7, 2011 01:46 PM | CNA

The Franco-Japanese company has chosen the Catalan car component manufacturer Ficosa as their only automatic gearbox supplier for all the new cars targeting a middle-class market segment. The agreement is for the European, North-American, South-American and Asian markets. It will represent a sales volume of 45 million euros for Ficosa. The news reinforces Greater Barcelona as a base for the automotive industry.