Nissan to build new car in Spain after wage deal

MADRID Mon Feb 4, 2013 6:00am EST

MADRID Feb 4 (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co Ltd will start making a new car model at its Barcelona factory in northeastern Spain after reaching a deal with unions last week on wage cuts, a spokeswoman said.

The agreement, reached after months of tense negotiations that nearly caused the Japanese manufacturer to cancel expansion plans in Spain, will create 1,000 jobs and bring in 130 million euros ($178 million) of new investment, Spanish media reported.

Spain's government has welcomed recent investments by automakers as a sign that reforms allowing employers to hire and fire workers more easily are making the recession-hit economy more competitive.

In January, Volkswagen became the third car maker in recent months to increase production in Spain.

The country's unemployment rate hit 26 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012. ($1 = 0.7301 euros) (Reporting by Blanca Rodriguez; Writing by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Tom Pfeiffer)