Nissan makes a clear cut and condemns its plant in Barcelona | Automotive

The worry was rising in the last few weeks in the ranks of the employees of Nissan, it takes a body with the closure of a plant emblematic of the group in Europ

Nissan makes a clear cut and condemns its plant in Barcelona | Automotive

The worry was rising in the last few weeks in the ranks of the employees of Nissan, it takes a body with the closure of a plant emblematic of the group in Europe. Severely in deficit for the first time since eleven years ago, Nissan announced on Thursday the arrest of a Spanish factory in the framework of a new strategic plan to reduce about 20 % of its global capacity production by march 2023.

The japanese automaker, hit by the crisis of the coronavirus, confirmed on Thursday that it intends to close its site in Barcelona. The plant, which employs 3,000 people, but which depend on 22 000 indirect jobs, according to unions, manufactures, especially of all-terrain vehicles and pick-up, as well as the electric van NV200.

The Spanish government has immediately regretted that decision, having regard to the many "support, aid and support" that he had proposed to the group, and stated that he would fight to save jobs.

in Front of the factory's centenary, the symbol of the automotive industry, the Spanish, the employees do not hide their bitterness. "In the midst of a pandemic of Covid-19, it is really shameful that a multinational company like this one to let go ", sighed Jordi Carbonell, 54 years old, employee in the purchasing department.

Elsewhere in the world, Nissan will refocus its North American production on some of the strategic models, to withdraw from the south Korean market, and to cease the marketing of its vehicles Datsun in Russia. He had, moreover, already announced in march the closure of a factory in Indonesia.

During a press conference online, its director general Makoto Uchida has refused to quantify the total number of new job cuts to come, citing the ongoing negotiations in each country, with the representatives of the staff. In 2019, the group employed 138 900 employees in the world.

Nissan had already announced last July its intention to reduce to 10 % of its production capacity by march 2023, which involves the removal of approximately 12 500 jobs in the world.

Volumes dear to Ghosn

The group has decided to do away with the race to the volumes which were at the heart of the strategy of Carlos Ghosn, the former boss of the Renault-Nissan alliance, who fled to Lebanon late 2019 after he was arrested in Japan for embezzlement alleged.

a Consequence of its former expansionist policy, Nissan suffers from substantial excess capacity, resulting in fixed costs enormous blazing its profitability : it can currently produce seven million vehicles per year, which is two million more than its sales in 2019.

This is why the manufacturer wants to lower its fixed costs by 300 billion yen (2.5 billion euros) and a reduction of more than a million units of its production capacity by march 2023.

Nissan also announced Thursday a net loss for the colossal 671,2 billion yen (5.7 billion euros) in its fiscal year ended march 31. The group had not found himself too heavily in deficit for the past 20 years, when he had had to be rescued by Renault to avoid bankruptcy.

Lack of new models and images

Nissan has not delivered a forecast of results for 20202021 in the immediate future, due to lack of visibility in the face of the pandemic, which has put its factories to stop these last few months. Even before the coronavirus, he was already in a bad position due to the slowdown in the automotive market in the world, but also because of the lack of renewal of its models, from its break with its former policy of price discounts in the United States and a brand image degraded.

The evils of Nissan are "more acute" than those of most of its competitors, and "the crisis of the sars coronavirus would not have come at a worse time" for the group, pointed out the financial ratings agency Standard & Poor's recently.

in order To restore its profitability, the group also rely on its alliance with the French Renault, and its compatriot Mitsubishi Motors. Their union had wavered in the wake of the case of Ghosn, but now appears crucial for the survival of the three manufacturers.

Read also : "The Alliance Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi-act the end of the era of Carlos Ghosn"

Unveiled Wednesday, the new strategy of the alliance plans to develop and produce jointly nearly 50 % of the models of the three manufacturers to the horizon 2025, in order to significantly reduce the cost and investment expenditure.

Nissan will become the referrer of the alliance on its three geographic regions of focus : North America, China and Japan. Without, however, renouncing to Europe, where he has a giant factory in Sunderland (north east England).

Updated Date: 28 May 2020, 10:33

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