216 jobs go as Panasonic closes Spanish plant
21 May 2004
BARCELONA – The Spanish arm of the Panasonic electrical giant is to close its plant in Catalonia with the loss of 216 jobs, the company said Friday.
The factory, which makes vacuum cleaners, will shut at the end of December.
It is the latest multinational to close its plant in this part of Spain.
Matsushita Electric España (MAES), the Spanish arm of Panasonic, said it would close the plant at Celrá, near Girona, near the Spanish-French border.
The company said the principle reason for the closure was “the intense competition in the world and European market for vacuum cleaners and the strong fall in prices”.
Norikazu Yamada, director general of MAES, said: “Sadly as a result of losses caused by rising competition and the fall in prices, we have to announce the closure of our plant in Celra.
“We are going to Stara a process of negotiation with our employees and the unions and we would like to express our sadness for the worries hich this announcement will cause.”
He added: “We are going to do all we can to support those who are affected by this closure and try to insure they can find new employment.”
MAES started working at the factory in 1975 and has made 13.5 million vacuum cleaners at the plant, which were exported to more than 30 countries in the world.
Sources had predicted the closure for months, but the Japanese owners had firmly denied rumours.
Panasonic has decided to produce a new model of vacuum cleaner at a factory in China and not at Celra.
The closure of the Panasonic plant follows similar announcements from other multi-nationals.
Philips and Samsung, who both produce electrical goods, announced their plants in Catalonia were to close, earlier this year with the loss of 500 jobs in tota.
Both blamed competition and cheaper labour costs in China and Slovakia.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news