Great Wall wants to buy Nissan's plant in Barcelona - report

If all goes to plan, Great Wall could soon be adding a third continent to its global manufacturing footprint: Europe.

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Derek Fung
Derek Fung
Journalist
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A number of potential buyers have emerged for Nissan’s factory complex in Barcelona, including Great Wall Motors.

According to Reuters, Great Wall is in talks with Nissan and local authorities about purchasing the main factory in the Zona Franca complex.

There are two smaller plants at the site, which electric bike maker Silence and EV engineering firm QEV Technologies, as well as Great Wall, are interested in.

Nissan announced the closure of its Barcelona factories by the end of 2020 as part of a restructuring plan, but pushed the shut down date back by a year as part of efforts to find buyers for the facilities.

Great Wall has greatly expanded its manufacturing footprint outside of China in the past few years.

In 2020 it bought GM’s factories in India and Thailand. This year it purchased a Mercedes-Benz plant from Daimler in Brazil.

If a deal is reached by all parties, it’s unclear what vehicles Great Wall will make in Barcelona. At this year’s Munich motor show, the company announced plans to launch its range of Ora EVs and Wey luxury cars in Europe in the near future.

Around 3000 people are directly employed at Nissan’s Barcelona plants, but the CGT union believes only 1600 jobs are at stake during these negotiations as many workers will take early retirement or redundancy packages.

Nissan’s factories in Barcelona have primarily concentrated on making commercial vehicles. The first car off the line was a Patrol, and the model remained in production there until 2001.

Currently the plant is churning out Navara utes, as well as the NV200 van.

Other cars manufactured in Zona Franca include the Terrano II, the Mercedes-Benz X-Class, Renault Alaskan, and a Euro-specific version of the Pulsar between 2014 and 2018.

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Derek Fung
Derek Fung
Derek Fung is a Journalist at CarExpert.
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