Possible take over

Several media reported that Great Wall Motor, a Chinese automotive manufacturer, possibly takes over Nissan’s Barcelona factory. Nissan has three factories in Barcelona that are going to be shut down in this December. Of course, the plants would close by December 2020, but later pushed the date back a year. The Japanese company was looking for an alternative industrial project with authorities.

This is because Nissan’s three Barcelona plants employ around 3,000 people directly and 20,000 indirectly. These numbers are incredible. In fact, Spain is one of the countries with the highest unemployment rates in the European Union. The rate was more than 15% in the 2nd quarter of 2021. Great Wall Motor has not made public its plan for the factories. However, the Chinese company could keep around 1,300 jobs, based on some sources. Also, the source said Great Wall Motor was interested in the larger plant.

Who is Great Wall Motor?

Great Wall Motor (GWM) is a Chinese automobile-manufacturer and its head office is in Baoding, Hebei. The founders established the company in 1984 and made use of the name of the Great Wall of China. Now, it becomes China’s largest producer of sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) and pick-up trucks.

According to its official homepage, GWM has its Research and Development centers outside China. They are in Japan, the United States, Germany, India, Austria and South Korea.

Also, GWM has had global manufacturing system. In China, the Chinese company has manufacturing bases in Baoding, Xushui, Tianjin and Yongchuan in Chongqing. What’s more, it is promoting major projects in Zhangjiagang, Shandong, Pinghu, Zhejiang and Taizhou. Globally, GWM owns factories in Ecuador, Malaysia, Tunisia and Bulgaria, and Russia Tula HAVAL factory.

What is the final decision?

Our media has already reported the possible projects in the former Nissan’s Barcelona factories. In March, Spain considered it would convert Nissan’s car plant in Barcelona into a battery production facility for electric vehicles. However, Volta Trucks is considering that it possibly opens its facility in Barcelona, Spain.

Therefore, we can say that there is no final decision about the future of Nissan’s Barcelona factories yet. One thing we have already known is that they are going to be shut down within the months. In other words, there is not enough time to keep local workers in the factories. Therefore, from Spanish and local government’s point of view, they must make a decision as soon as possible.

When it comes to GWM, the Chinese company tries to expand its sales outside China. Like famous proverb “think globally, act locally”, locality is one of key success factors in the automotive market. This is because consumers’ needs are different from country to country, or from region to region. A simple example is that American people like bigger vehicles than Asian people do.

GWM does not have any production facility in Western or Southern Europe yet. Therefore, to take over Nissan’s facility will allow the company to enter these markets better and faster. We know the deadline is almost coming, so who will take over it? Maybe Great Wall Motor?