May 23 - Japanese carmaker, Nissan, is to employ an extra 700 people in Spain after announcing it will build a new electric van at its Barcelona plant. Andrew Potter reports.
At a time of rampant unemployment, Nissan is expanding its operation in Spain. The Japanese car maker is adding 700 jobs to build its new van, called the e-NV200. The model will be exclusively built at this plant in Barcelona, with an investment of 100 million euros. Andy Palmer is an executive vice president at Nissan. SOUNDBITE: Andy Palmer, Executive Vice President, Nissan, saying (English): "The merits of this factory, obviously Nissan has been here an awful long time, the quality of the work done here, the quality of the workers and their expertise particularly in light commercial vehicles makes it a very easy decision for us to put this vehcile here." The e-NV200 is Nissan's second all-electric vehicle, following in the wheel tracks of a model called the Leaf. It's petrol powered cousin is the NV200 which was voted van of the year in 2010, and is likely to take on iconic status as a yellow cab, having been chosen as New York City's next-generation 'Taxi of Tomorrow'. Nissan says it is committed to a goal of zero emissions, and that's of particular importance to its European customers. SOUNDBITE: Andy Palmer, Executive Vice President, Nissan, saying (English): "It's a key part of our brand. Clearly we're positioning Nissan as the leader of zero emissions. And to be very specific on zero emissions, electric car is one way to delivery zero emissions but there are others as well and we intend to lead in all of those spaces." The jobs created will be at the Barcelona factory and with suppliers, welcome news in a country where one in four is out of work. The first of the new vehicles rolls off this production line next year. Andrew Potter, Reuters