Nissan plans have again prompted demonstrations in Spain over plans to axe 1,680 jobs in the country.

European press agencies reported that hundreds of demonstrators protested outside the offices of the Japanese vehicle maker in Barcelona yesterday. The reports said that as well as throwing objects at the building the demonstration blocked the city’s Gran Via avenue for about one hour.

Under Nissan’s plans, 27.5% of its 6,100-strong workforce will be cut amid other measures to boost efficiencies. It will make 130,000 vehicles in 2008 compared with 193,000 in 2007

Nissan plans to cut 1,288 jobs in 2008 and a further 392 next year in two factories in Barcelona, according to a details of the plan presented to a works committee on Monday.

Spanish unions earlier this month branded the plan “unjustified and barbarous.”

However, Nissan has argued that the cuts were needed to compensate for major losses in Europe stemming from falling sales of the Barcelona-made Pathfinder and X-83 models.

Spanish car sales are plummeting amid a deep economic recession.

In October Spanish unions marched through Barcelona to protest the plans. Thousands of workers joined in, including workers from other auto makers and parts suppliers, unions claimed.

There have been calls for the Spanish government to intervene and prevent Nissan from making the cuts.

Spain sales freefall