Protests in Spain over UK car win

Daily Express - - NEWS - By Paul Jeeves

NIS­SAN con­firmed its fac­tory in Sun­der­land will be­come the new heart of its Euro­pean op­er­a­tion.

Af­ter years of un­cer­tainty the Ja­panese car giant said the plant – which em­ploys 6,000 and has 30,000 more in its sup­ply chain – was in­te­gral to its fu­ture.

But Span­ish work­ers re­acted by burning tyres in a fac­tory block­ade af­ter the com­pany said its Barcelona fac­tory would close with the loss of 3,000 jobs.

Re­nault pro­duc­tion is likely to be moved to Sun­der­land to boost ef­fi­ciency.

Stephen Ma, Nis­san chief fi­nance of­fi­cer, said: “In western Europe, we will main­tain pro­duc­tion of core mod­els in Sun­der­land.”

The UK fac­tory is the big­gest car-mak­ing fa­cil­ity in the UK.

The news will be wel­comed by Bri­tish mo­torists fol­low­ing the news that 10 per cent im­port tar­iffs will be in­tro­duced for new cars built in Europe and shipped to the UK from 2021. Bosses will now fo­cus on re­duc­ing costs and putting em­pha­sis on elec­tric ve­hi­cles, SUVs and crossovers af­ter £5bil­lion losses for 2019 amid plum­met­ing car sales.

Nis­san’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Makoto Uchida said the brand will slash global pro­duc­tion and the num­ber of mod­els by 20 per cent by 2023.

Pic­tures: REUTERS, AFP

Work­ers out­side the Barcelona fac­tory where tyres were set alight yes­ter­day

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