Nissan slashes Spanish workforce

Japanese carmaker Nissan is to lay off 1,680 workers at its Barcelona factory - 37% of its Spanish workforce - because of plunging sales.

Vice president Fumiaki Matsumoto says cuts will affect the assembly of 4x4s, which have been badly hit by the global financial crash.

Last month, car sales in Spain fell by 32% from a year earlier. Nissan's production in Barcelona for 2009 is estimated at 110,000, down 83,000 from last year.

Mr Matsumoto said that increased fuel costs, difficulty raising loans and new carbon dioxide limitations have all contributed to a downturn in the world's 4x4 vehicle market.

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