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Nissan to make midsize car at Barcelona plant

TOKYO -- Nissan Motor will invest 110 million euros ($150 million) in its plant in Barcelona, Spain, to begin production of Pulsar midsize hatchbacks.

     With the Pulsar due out in Europe this autumn, the automaker will produce around 80,000 units of the car at its Barcelona facility, which now makes commercial vehicles and large sport utility vehicles.

     The plant turned out some 140,000 units in the year ended March, and began production of electric commercial vehicles this month. With the addition of the Pulsar, it will near its full annual capacity of 200,000 vehicles. The plant will also start making pickup trucks in 2015.

     Sales of new passenger cars in the 18 leading European countries rose 4% on the year to 1.05 million units this April, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association. Sales have now registered year-on-year increases for eight months in a row.

     With the European market having hit bottom, Nissan plans to get more aggressive there. It aims to sell 780,000 vehicles in Europe in the year ending March 2015, up 15% from the previous year. The Japanese automaker ranked 11th, with a 3.4% share, in 2013.

(Nikkei)

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