Saguntine Factory of the Future | Valencian Community – The My News

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admin March 27, 2022 23 Views
Updated 2022/03/27 at 10:36 AM
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Saguntine Factory of the Future |  Valencian Community – The My News
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The establishment of a battery factory for electric cars in Sagunto, which was officially announced by Volkswagen this week, would have such an impact on the Valencian economy and society that it has been compared to the Ford landing in Almussafes in 1976. Together with then Spain in 2026, when the opening of the Gigafactory is planned, but these are undoubtedly two milestones in Valencian and Spanish industrial history.

The planned investment by the German group for the Saguntine plant is between 2,500 and 3,000 million euros, out of a total of 7,000 million euros that will be mobilized for the whole of Spain. This amount exceeds the 2,400 million euros in constant money that the US multinational initially invested. Therefore, the president of the Generalitat, socialist Zimo Puig, first congratulated it as “the greatest initial investment that the Valencian community has received in its history”.

In the end, the Germans spoke publicly, finally such a statement could have been made, as discretion and silence have marked fruitful conversations between the Valencian government and the world’s second largest carmaker. Nerves have also surfaced at times, such as when the media began publishing a few months ago that Sagunto had been chosen and that the German veterans were silent and thought there had been a breach of trust. Confidentiality agreements, camouflaged vehicles for very discreet meetings…

Three women and one man made Generalitat’s hard core to negotiate with Volkswagen

The history of the negotiations is another chapter that the Generalitat does not wish to reveal while still awaiting the announcement. For example, Volkswagen receiving a few hundred million euros from the government-given PERTE-VEC (Strategic Projects for the Recovery and Economic Transformation of Electric and Connected Vehicles) European assistance and under which this project is.

It is known that the negotiating hard core is made up of three women and one man: the regional secretary for the sustainable economy, Rebecca Toro, and economic models, Mako Mira, general director of internationalization, Mari Parra, and director of the sector, Vicente Nebot. There are more proper names, but it is they who, under the direct supervision of the Presidency of the Generalitat, have handled the matter and coordinated with the affected ministries, the city council and the Ministry of Industry, a major front for bringing investment. . ,

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03-24-2022 Parc Sagunt II, where the Volkswagen Gigafactory is planned to be installed.
03-24-2022 Parc Sagunt II, where the Volkswagen Gigafactory is planned to be installed.
Sagant City Council (Europa Press)

An objective that began to be achieved when the Valencian government decided to reactivate the fading Parc Sagunt I in 2015. Business success with companies such as Mercadona or Tempe (50% of Inditex) led to the introduction of Parc Sagunt II, a complex that is one of the largest business parks in Europe with approximately eight million square meters of land. There the gigafactory would be established and somehow the historical crime committed to the old Roman enclave would be compensated, as the Saguntine economist Juan Ramón Gallego recalls. The Francoist government announced in 1968 that Sagunto was going to set up a fourth plant for the Spanish steel industry, which would create thousands of jobs. But it was never done and what happened a few years later, already under the government of Felipe González, that the reconstruction of the steel industry in Spain began with the blast furnace of Sagunto. it was painful.

Now, the population has “a large, innovative industrial pole, a . There is a huge opportunity to create and consolidate group The automobile and ancillary industry is on a path to transition from fossil fuels to the future sector, which is the electric car, in sync with engineering”, says Ernest Rieg. This Professor of Applied Economics believes that the establishment of Gigafactory will prove to be a milestone like Ford. “Suddenly, the automobile sector became the first Valencian exporter and this meant a fundamental change in the economy”, he added.

Three women and one man made Generalitat’s hard core in conversation with Volkswagen

Javier Quesada, researcher at Ivy and director of economy for Generalitat from 1995 to 1998, experienced the integration of the Juan Carlos I supplier park, which was linked to the Ford Almusafez. “With this move, many competitors were eaten up because, in fact, Ford’s rival is not Citron or Seat, but plants that the multinational has in other parts of Europe,” says the expert.

The construction of the Park of Suppliers and Ancillary Industry is also one of the stakes in Sagunto. It is estimated that the gigafactory will create 3,000 direct jobs while indirect ones are estimated at between 10,000 and 12,000.

“Ford’s great contribution to Valencia is that it has taught companies to operate efficiently and responsibly,” Quesada says. This researcher believes that Volkswagen’s commitment is an investment in the future. “Maybe there is less towing capacity than Ford but you also send the message that Valencia has come out well. There are more possibilities”, he added.

After more than four decades, the accumulated investment in the Ford factory is approximately 9,600 million euros, as estimated by the European University of Valencia in 2016 on the occasion of the factory’s 40th anniversary.

For Almusfez Mayor Tony Gonzalez, Ford has been a lifelong presence. Born in Cologne because his father worked for a multinational company there, his family returned to Spain after Henry Ford II opened the Valencian factory. “It was difficult for the people” [mucha procedente del campo], get used to the assembly line for some schedule; Something left,” he explains. The plant once had 10,000 employees, which is now around 6,800.

Among them, Gonzalo Pino, worker for 43 years and historical leader of the UGT in the factory: “Ford placed us in the industrial sector of Spain and, from the point of view of the union, social progress fought In the factory he also represented reforms for the local industry”.

Assembly of workers of the Sagunto iron and steel industry in 1984, the year in which the last blast furnace was closed.
Assembly of workers of the Sagunto iron and steel industry in 1984, the year in which the last blast furnace was closed.Carles Francesc/Jesus Sisker

The Almussafes plant contributes 65% of the municipal budget – 11 of the 18 million that enters the Conistory come from Ford and the surrounding industries-. In terms of employment, about 700 or 800 Ford employees are from Almusafe. “If the municipality has a working population of 6,500 people, there will be about 4,100 workers between the factory and its industrial areas”, says the mayor. Gonzalez is confident that Volkswagen’s installation will “help a lot in the decision that hopefully we can make in June,” he tells of Ford’s award of its future electric model to one of its European plants.

Sagunto’s mayor, Dario Moreno, dreams of full employment in the municipality for the Gigafactory, which will have a “driving effect” that will not only benefit the municipality “far ahead”. The mayor explains that he is working with “a number of companies and investors who have shown interest” in the municipal business park. And it highlights an aspect that is not well known but that Volkswagen negotiators valued its choice, the municipality’s educational and vocational training proposal that would “return to the industrial vanguard that it abandoned” after the previous shutdown. Fire furnace after 40 years.

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