Spain chooses QEV as favorite for Nissan Barcelona plant

MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish authorities have selected local automotive group QEV Technologies as the prime candidate to take over Nissan’s main plant in Barcelona after Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor pulled out, Nissan said on Wednesday.

Catalonia-based engineering group QEV plans to turn the facility into a hub for electric vehicles, with the participation of Swedish producers Inzile and Volta.

Spain is rushing to find a buyer for the plant, which Nissan will leave at the end of the year. Great Wall had been slated to take it over but pulled out this month.

A commission made up of Spanish and Catalan politicians, union representatives and Nissan executives met regularly to assess various proposals for the plant.

“The participants (…) supported the broad lines of the electromobility hub plan led by QEV Technologies,” Nissan said in a statement. “The hub meets all the objectives set.

Further discussions will focus on the concrete needs of the plant in terms of space and assets and whether other complementary projects could be included.

An alternative proposal from Belgian automaker Punch will be seen as a secondary option, Nissan said.

Negotiations to sell two small Nissan factories in the region to QEV and electric motorcycle maker Silence are now at a very advanced stage, the Japanese automaker said.

(Reporting by Joan Faus and Nathan Allen, editing by Andrei Khalip and David Goodman)

Edward K. Thompson