Chery to move into former Nissan plant in Barcelona

Chinese manufacturer Chery apparently wants to build cars in Spain, specifically in the former Nissan plant in Barcelona. According to an agency report, Chery is close to a deal and could finalise an agreement to start production in Barcelona in the coming days.

Image:: Omoda

This was reported by the news agency Reuters, citing information from the Spanish government and the lead negotiator EV Motors. It would be Chery’s first production facility in Europe. The agreement is said to be close to being finalised after a Spanish delegation held promising talks with Chery in China this week.

Nissan ceased production at its Barcelona plant at the end of 2021. That was also when the last example of the Nissan e-NV200 electric van rolled off the production line. The Japanese company started producing vehicles there in 1983 with the Nissan Patrol. The production facility in Barcelona consists of three parts – the main plant in Zona Franca, a press shop in Montcada i Reixac and facilities for frame and suspension construction in Sant Andreu de la Barca.

Initially, Great Wall Motors had expressed interest in the plant. However, negotiations with the Chinese manufacturer failed. According to Reuters, the main plant has since been partially handed over to the Spanish electric motorcycle manufacturer Silence and the local engineering groups QEV and EV Motors, who want to develop it into a centre for electric vehicles. EV Motors is said to have “acquired full corporate control of the hub in March” and will thus play a key role in the talks with Chery, the agency report continues. The size of the part of the plant that would house Chery is not clear from the article.
Chery began selling vehicles in Spain at the beginning of the year. The company has a mix of cars with combustion engines, hybrid drives and purely electric drives in its portfolio. It is not known whether the Spanish authorities are offering Chery the prospect of public aid for local production. However, as part of the PERTE programme, Spain plans to launch two tenders this year in which companies can receive a total of 1.7 billion euros in loans and grants for the production of electric vehicles in the country.

Chery announced its European launch in 2023 with three brands and a broad drive mix. The carmaker also plans to launch its first model with an electric drive in Germany in the first half of 2024. The manufacturer published initial information on this in January: The Omoda 5 EV is a 4.40-metre-long SUV, with prices set to start at around 37,000 euros.


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