Nissan intends to close its Barcelona main plant and two nearby facilities starting in December, but it will keep open two facilities in northern Spain.
The decision is a blow for Spain at a time when unemployment is spiking and a steep recession is looming because of the coronavirus crisis.
The plant and the nearby facilities employ 3,000 workers and the closures could indirectly affect up to 25,000 jobs, unions say. The car industry accounts for about 10 percent of Spain’s gross domestic product, according to auto industry association ANFAC.
The closure would cost Nissan as much as 1 billion euros ($1.10 billion), the government said, urging the automaker to look at other options.
The Barcelona factory has been operating since the 1980s. It builds pickups and vans.
Nissan plans to relocate production of the Navara pickup to South Africa, while a replacement for the e-NV200 van would be built at Renault’s plant in Maubeuge, France, according to reports.