Nissan and Spanish unions will negotiate redundancy terms for 450 workers expected to leave its Madrid Cuatro Vientos plant before it closes in June 2006, just-auto has been told.

"We think we will start negotiating in the beginning of next year," Francisco Javier Carmona, who heads the Nissan section of Spanish union UGT, said.

Cuatro Vientos in Madrid makes four engine lines for Nissan car and truck models assembled at its Zona Franca car factory in Barcelona. The Catalan plant employs most of the company's 5,700 Spanish workers.

Nissan will close the Madrid plant after phasing out three motors that don't meet environmental standards next March. The company will then start making the new and more modern YD-25 diesel engine in Zona Franca to power future four-wheel and truck models, Carmona said.

Nissan has offered Cuatro Vientos workers pre-retirement, voluntary departure and transfers to Barcelona, according to Carmona, "but the city is 600 kilometres (about 350 miles) away so there will be more retirements than transfers," he said, adding that Nissan allocated €16.8 million last year to finance the redundancies.

Nissan did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Apart from the cuts at Cuatro Vientos, Nissan is studying a boost in production and workforce at its Los Corrales de Buelna factory in Cantabria, Spain, Carmona said.