TOKYO -- Nissan is working on a plan to scale back its European business, focusing on SUVs and commercial vehicles as well as more effective sharing of products and investments with partner Renault, three sources told Reuters.
The strategy would see the automaker's plant in Sunderland, northeast England, switch permanently to two daily shifts from three, but become a key hub for SUVs.
It could also see the company's Barcelona factory in Spain close, putting around 3,000 jobs at risk, said the sources with knowledge of the plan, who declined to be named because they are not authorized to speak to the media. Nissan has told union leaders at the Barcelona plant that they will be informed about the factory's future before summer.
Nissan may build the Renault Kadjar and Captur SUVs at the Sunderland plant, the Financial Times reported on May 13. The Renault SUVs share the same underpinnings as the Nissan Qashqai and Juke, which are built in Sunderland.
The Europe strategy is part of a three-year global turnaround plan due to be unveiled on May 28.
Central to the proposal is a new way of working with alliance partner Renault that would see the two companies divide up areas of responsibility, with one becoming the "leader" and the other the "follower" in each.
The sources said Nissan's plan for Europe was presented to the company's board on Thursday by chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta, who they said was the leading advocate and key architect of the new leader-follower model.
They added many on the board, whose 12 members include Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard, showed support for the plan, without giving details.
Nissan declined to comment. Renault did not immediately respond to requests for comment.