MADRID –Motor Co. Ltd. is hiking output at its Barcelona plant as a result of a stronger-than-expected market reception for three restyled vehicles built there.
A total of 13,000 extra units will force the auto maker to contract between 100 and 125 temporary workers and will push production at the plant to 100,000 units for the fiscal year ending March 31.
The additional output includes 7,000 units combined of the Pathfinder SUV and its pickup offshoot, the Navara, as well as 6,000 Primastar vans.
The restyled Pathfinder and Navara models not only are selling well in Europe, but are in demand in other markets, including Australia.
The extra production will allow the plant to restart the second shift for the Primastar model, a clone of theTrafic and Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro.
The Vivaro and Trafic models are produced inCo.’s Luton, U.K., plant, but SA has announced it will move output of the next-generation Trafic to a factory in Sandouville, France.
Renault also is offering to build the Vivaro and Primastar models, as well, in order to reduce costs for all three auto makers. The shift to Sandouville is believed to result from pressure by the French government on Renault to maintain or increase domestic auto jobs.
Meanwhile, insiders saySpain has told local unions competitiveness must be improved at the Barcelona plant by way of a new flexible labor agreement and other measures to lower production costs.
The auto maker also wants to reduce the costs of the parts and components used in the NV200, a light-commercial vehicle launched in Spain at the end of 2009.