Business 14/09/2021

Punch automotive group bids to replace Nissan

Belgian company's project plans to occupy car manufacturer's three plants and keep on entire workforce

2 min
The hydrogen combustion vehicle that Punch wants to manufacture in Barcelona

BarcelonaWhile the deadline for Nissan's reindustrialisation committee to decide which company will occupy the three factories the Japanese car manufacturer will leave at the end of the year in Catalonia is coming to an end, a new company has applied to move into the plants that will be left empty: Zona Franca, Montcada i Reixac and Sant Andreu de la Barca. This is the Belgian group specialising in automotive components Punch, which has specified its plans for the future to occupy the three facilities: to manufacture 46,100 hydrogen, electric and diesel vehicles in 2025 and reach 75,600 by 2030. In addition, the company expects to obtain patents for the Nissan's Navara pick-up truck to upgrade it to a hydrogen-powered combustion vehicle. At the same time, it plans to manufacture electric vehicles for the taxi sector based on the e-NV200 van, also from the Japanese company, and to develop its own brand of electric scooters produced in Barcelona.

With these numbers, the company has assured that they could keep on all of the current workforce, about 2,000 people, and has advanced that it plans to make an investment of €650m over the next six years, a figure, the company clarified, which could reach €1bn in 2030 including grants and subsidies. In addition, it is committed to building a new paint plant that will cost €80m. The group says it wants to create quality jobs and has distanced itself from the precarious jobs linked to logistics or catering. "We don't need Amazon or McDonald's jobs. We need real jobs," said the group's CEO and owner, Guido Dumarey.

The decision, at the end of the month

Punch's is the latest candidacy to be presented and joins, among others, the consortium formed by Swedish electric truck manufacturers Inzile (which would produce a small truck) and Volta Trucks, as well as the Montmeló-based engineering company QEV Technologies. Also on the list is electric motorcycle producer Silence.

According to the timetable presented by the reindustrialisation table, the chosen proposal will be picked before the end of this month.

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