Nissan is examining whether to sell its two factories in Europe as the company is laying out its recovery plan and the industry makes the costly shift towards electric vehicles.
Citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports that the Japanese automaker is already gauging interest from potential buyers for its factories in the UK and Spain.
Another option Nissan examines is to divest one or both factories, as the brand’s market share in Europe has declined. While there’s no final decision yet, potential buyers could include Chinese car makers, according to the sources.
Nissan’s profits during the first half of the year fell to almost zero, with the incoming CEO Makoto Uchida faced with an uphill battle. “At this time, we have no plan to sell those two plants in Europe,” said Azusa Momose, a spokeswoman at Nissan.
Back in July, Nissan said it’s planning to cut 12,500 jobs worldwide as the carmaker aims to focus on its home market, as well as China and the US according to the sources.
In addition, Nissan is considering importing its models to Europe from Japan directly, now that the trade barriers with the EU fell away. By doing so, it will no longer need factories in the region. The Japanese car maker also plans to cut a number of unprofitable models, including the Datsun brand as a whole and other compact vehicles. The Nissan Micra is reportedly one of them.
Nissan has already announced a range of cutback measures in Europe, including cutting 600 jobs at its factory in Barcelona, Spain, which is currently running below its capacity of around 200,000 vehicles per year.
The company’s UK factory in Sunderland has also been in the news, as Nissan has warned the local government that a no-deal Brexit would render the facility nonviable.