Up until last year, the Nissan Group's plan was to have Magna Steyr contract-manufacture a new Infiniti premium compact model based on the Etherea concept in Austria, and build its upcoming Opel Astra and VW Golf rivaling hatchback at its own Sunderland plant in the UK.
In December, the Japanese carmaker announced a change of plans, with the Infiniti model to be manufactured in Sunderland and the Nissan hatch to be produced at another facility in Europe.
On Monday, Nissan announced that it has chosen its manufacturing plant in Barcelona, Spain, for the production of the yet-to-be revealed compact model that will begin in July of 2014, after reaching what it described as, a "new competitive proposal with the local works council".
According to the carmaker, the move will bring an additional 80,000 units of annual capacity to the Spanish factory, through an investment of €110 million (US$150 million), and the creation of 1,000 direct and 3,000 indirect jobs.
In addition, Nissan said it will allocate to Barcelona the production of 24,000 units of extra annual capacity for the 1-Ton Pickup, an investment of €14 million (US$19 million), and the assembly of the gearbox for the Nissan LEAF electric hatch and eNV200 van, an investment of €6 million (US$8.1 million).
Following the announcement, Nissan Motor Ibérica Managing Director, Frank Torres commented:
“I have the pleasure of sharing with you the fruits of the competitiveness agreement reached last week, which have opened the door to new production opportunities. The most important thing now is to be able to ensure the successful launch of these products and keep the competitiveness commitment. If we do, I am sure new opportunities will come.”
He continued: “In the coming years, Barcelona plant will work at full capacity, with an annual output over 200,000 units while maintaining its attractiveness to produce new models. Given the current crisis environment, this is not only a great achievement for Nissan, but for the entire industry in this country.”