The threat to Spanish car production plants has not ended much less with the unfortunate announcement of the closure of Nissan in Barcelona, made official this Thursday.
The closure of the factory is part of a joint restructuring of the alliance between Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi and decisions are not being made in Spain. The eyes of the market are now focused on the Spanish factories of Renault and the management José Vicente de los Mozos, vice president of the group and president of the employers Anfac.
With a scandal in the British press a few days ago – he was talking about the loss of two models from the Renault plant in Valladolid in favor of England – the French brand has already proposed the start of negotiations with Spain: without risking the plants themselves, there is fear of relocation of products to France.
Engines and gearboxes
Engines and gearboxes may be the most affected products, not in vain the condition of Emmanuel Macron to Renault -and also to Peugeot Citroën– is that they transform their production into electric motors, which have nothing to do with it. Thus, Seville and the Valladolid motor plant are at greater risk.
An announcement is expected next week about the Los Corrales de Buela (Cantabria) plant, which is also Nissan’s, but supplies the entire Renault group.
An announcement from the company’s management is expected to calm the waters, since a paralysis in Cantabria would affect many plants of the alliance, including Sunderland. The announcement of investments for that factory is very likely, according to industry sources.
On the other hand, after the ‘sacrifice’ of Barcelona, it is assumed that José Vicente de los Mozos will fight to keep the situation as good as possible in Valladolid, the plant from which he left. The rest of the factories may not be as calm.
Renault absorbs Nissan
In the Spanish government, they wanted to maintain the high morale with which Nissan Barcelona would want to survive, but they depended on a factor that was beyond their control: that the Japanese and Renault did not end up integrating themselves more, but each went on their own, which was an option.
However, the alliance walked the other way and Nissan and Renault will now be much more integrated, which makes the Japanese withdraw from Europe (actually, they withdraw from Spain but keep their UK plant for the European market) and in practice condemned the Zona Franca factory.