The Secretary for Industry and SMEs, Raúl Blanco, has warned Nissan that closing its Barcelona plant will cost it more than 1,000 million euros, compared to the 300 million that would require guaranteeing its future, as well as encountering a “not at all peaceful” attitude “by the administrations involved.
“Closing Barcelona is not going to solve its global problems, but rather complicate them (…). You have to be clear that it will not come out cheaper than the 1,000 million,” he said in a virtual meeting with the Blanco press, who said, However, that the central government, the Generalitat of Catalonia and the Barcelona City Council will continue to bet on the plant even though Nissan announces its closure.
“It is more positive and viable to invest than to close, closing will be very expensive and you will not find any positive attitude either in the city, in Spain or in Europe,” he insisted.
For the moment, the Japanese company has not communicated the closure to the Executive, according to Blanco, who recalled that the three administrations and the Barcelona Free Trade Zone Consortium have been working together for more than a year and a half to guarantee the future of the factory with the manufacture of a small electric vehicle.
The Catalan plant, which generates 3,000 direct jobs and 30,000 induced jobs, was not initially in the competition to obtain this platform, but it entered thanks to the aforementioned plan, according to Blanco, who has ensured that the plan is still in force and is “more valid than any another option “and that maximum efforts are being made at national and European level to avoid the closure of Nissan’s only assembly line in the European Union.
In his opinion, it makes no sense for Nissan to leave the European Union to stay only in the United Kingdom and has warned him that “it is cheaper to invest than to leave.”
“The situation is very difficult, no one escapes that they have not invested in the plant in the last ten years,” acknowledged Blanco, who stated that, nevertheless, the factory is fully competitive “if it is equipped with cargo of work and investments necessary for the next ten years. “
The Industry Secretary explained that the feasibility plan presented to Nissan would involve an investment of around 300 million euros, of which the administrations would contribute the maximum possible within the European legal framework with aid to financing or incentives for innovation, the training or logistics.
On the other hand, closing will cost a minimum of 1,000 million only in labor and contractual costs for the land, according to Blanco, who has pointed out that to this amount the cost it would have to add to the image and reputation of the company or the legal actions that could be added. decide the different administrations on environmental issues or the return of aid received for non-compliance.
On the other hand, he assured that it would also not be understood that Renault, which maintains an alliance with Nissan, invested in plants that will remain outside the European Union and has assured that the Executive works for the future of Nissan Spain, which implies also guaranteeing the continuity of the centers it has in Ávila and Cantabria.
“If he leaves Barcelona it will be necessary to see what happens to these projects,” said Blanco, who recalled that, after the United Kingdom left the EU, the only Nissan plants in the Union are those in Spain.
“We are going to continue making efforts at the highest governmental and business level in the next few days. Our attitude will not change even if it announces the closure, but let them know and make it clear that leaving Spain and Europe will be very expensive,” he insisted.
Regarding the aid plan for the purchase of cars in order to revive the market, Blanco has hoped to be able to have news “in the coming days”, although he has not detailed either the endowment of the plan or what type of vehicles it will be aimed at.