With the Spanish economy suffering an alarming hemorrhage of jobs, there was some good news for Nissan workers in the Barcelona Free Zone on Monday on Monday when the Japanese manufacturer announced that its plant there will build its new passenger car model from 2015.
The announcement was made by Nissan’s director of industrial operations in Spain at a news conference accompanied by Catalan premier Artur Mas. “Industrial policy is the most important thing we have on the table and we will dedicate all our efforts to it,” Mas said.
The news came six days after Nissan’s management and labor unions signed a competitiveness plan, which includes a 20-percent cut in wages for new employees, but guarantees the rights of the current workforce in the event of future layoffs. The decision followed six months of negotiations between labor representatives and management. Talks broke off on January 17 before being renewed again.
Production of the new model will create 1,000 direct jobs and 3,000 indirect ones. It will entail an investment of 130 million euros in the Free Zone plant to build a new production line. Initial output will be 80,000 units a year.
The new compact model is named Invitation. It will have five doors and aims to compete with Volkswagen’s Golf model and Ford’s Focus.