US autoparts maker GDX Automotive is to shut its Barcelona components factory and sack 720 workers, Javier Rubio, an official at Spanish union Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) told just-auto.

He said GDX is losing EUR1.8m a year due to “poor management” and that it wants to wind down its business in Spain.

“This company has been run poorly for some time and there’s been three to four management changes in recent years,” Rubio said. “They are just waiting for orders to end so that they can pack up and go.”

GDX’s move comes after rival Delphi whipped up a political storm in Spain after announcing plans to close its unprofitable Puerto Real components factory, dismissing 3,000 workers.

Unions have launched a bitter fight against the action (threatening lock ups after a secession of major strikes) which is still unresolved.

In recent years, a string of foreign and Spanish component makers have exited Spain, hurt by flagging demand from car makers that have moved output to cheaper production posts in eastern Europe and Asia.

Rubio said GDX’s factory, located in the town of Palau Solita I Plegamans, is in good order and has productive workers.

“The problem is the bad management, not the factory or its workers,” he added.

Unions are set to fight the firm’s decision to close the plant, Rubio said, adding that they will meet management in coming days.

“We are going to make proposals to help them keep the factory open or sell to another firm. That’s the first priority,” Rubio said.

Officials at GDX, which closed another factory in Tarragona last year, leaving only the Barcelona facility open, could not be reached for comment.

At Palau Solita, GDX makes rubber weather strip seals for doors and windows. Its biggest customers include Volkswagen, Mercedes and PSA-Peugeot Citroen.

Ivan Castano