BARCELONA -- 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 automaker's Europe chairman, Gianluca De Ficchy, said.
"There was no viable solution for the future of the Barcelona factory," De Ficchy he told reporters on Thursday as workers protested outside the plant.
Hundreds of workers blockaded the plant on Thursday after Nissan said it would shut the factory as part of a global restructuring plan to slash costs.
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.
Nissan made the decision to end its operation in Barcelona despite proposals made by the local authorities to keep the plant running, the Spanish government said in a statement.