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“Two or three” more battery gigafactories will be necessary in Spain

The president of the Spanish manufacturer of components for automobiles Gestamp, Francisco Riberas, has indicated that “two or three” more battery gigafactories will be necessary, in addition to that of Seat and Volkswagen in Sagunto (Valencia), if Spain’s objective is to manufacture three million vehicles per year.

Within the framework of the company’s shareholders’ meeting, the director indicated that the Seat and Volkswagen project to start up a battery plant in Sagunto “is very important” to cover 800,000 cars that they plan to manufacture companies with that platform.

In his opinion, “it is an important step”, but he added that if Spain aspires to produce three million cars a year, as it has done before, which at some point will be electric, to maintain that figure, two or three factories will be needed plus.

Regarding Gestamp’s participation in any of the Strategic Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation (Perte) that the Government is promoting, the president of the company did not want to confirm whether Gestamp will attend any call with a project.

However, he stated that there are “other investment systems”, since PERTE itself “is a very specific scheme” and in this matter “it is not all black or white”.

Gestamp is part of the ‘Future: Fast Forward’ association, led by Seat and the Volkswagen group, which has submitted its proposal to the Strategic Project for the Recovery and Economic Transformation of Electric and Connected Vehicles (Perte VEC) with the aim of converting Spain in a ‘hub’ of the electric vehicle in Europe.

In parallel, the company has projects related to R+D+i, Industry 4.0, and digitization, as well as the implementation of the Atenea Transformation Plan, allowing the firm to face the transformation of the industry.

“Our strategic vision of the business allows us to build a planning focused on capturing the opportunities of a change in the production model marked by electrification, Industry 4.0 and sustainability as essential elements in the automotive sector,” added Riberas.

Gestamp and the electric vehicle

Riberas has highlighted the good positioning of Gestamp in the face of the takeoff of the manufacture of electric vehicles, since in 2021 it has gone from manufacturing 2.6 million vehicles to 6.8 million units.

In this sense, the firm “is already prepared” to manufacture all the components perfectly aligned with the planned objective that by 2029 40% of the world’s vehicle production will correspond to electric models.

The president of the manufacturer of automotive components has also mentioned the implementation of the intelligent automotive factory, which is already being tested in the Basque Country, and which it plans to implement in 2025, with a “100% flexible” manufacturing concept.

Gestamp currently has nearly 40,000 employees spread over 114 plants in 23 countries. 18% of the workforce is made up of women, 38% under 35 years of age and 93% have an indefinite contract.

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