In the fall of 1982, the Zaragoza plant dressed up for a very special occasion, the culmination of years of hard work. On November 5 of that year, production began of a model, the Opel Corsa, which has become an automotive icon.
Today, four decades later, Stellantis Zaragoza is once again decked out to celebrate its fortieth anniversary and the arrival of a new model, whose award responds to the plant’s high levels of quality, competitiveness and social climate.
Stellantis Zaragoza will produce this new model with electrified versions on the CMP modular multi-energy platform. It is part of Stellantis’ industrial plan and also benefits from the contribution of the incentive program granted by the Spanish Government under the PERTE VEC Plan. A further step in the plant’s commitment to sustainability and a celebration that was attended by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, and the President of Aragon, Javier Lambán. The Minister announced that, in addition to the 42.7 million already committed, a “substantial improvement” in the funds for the same purpose will be confirmed shortly, and also announced that the clusters will also receive more than eight million euros, given that in Aragón things have been done well and good projects have been presented to receive financing from the European funds.
For the President of Aragon, Javier Lambán, the history of the Figueruelas plant is parallel to that of the autonomous region of Aragon, which is also celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Parallel and converging lives, since its permanence in Aragon has gone through several situations in which the Government of Aragon has always been by the side of the company and the workers. Precisely, the announcement of the manufacture of the new model of the electric corsa came after the complex negotiation of the collective agreement, signed in February 2018. A negotiation in which the Government of Aragon was involved to unblock the paralysis of negotiations between management and the Opel works council.
Lambán has valued the dynamics generated by the Opel factory, today Stellantis, and the ecosystem created around it. It is no coincidence that 20,000 indirect jobs are created by the ancillary companies. In addition, it has been, in his opinion, a spearhead of an “absolutely strategic” sector of the Community that has shown great capacity and entrepreneurial talent to adapt to new demands and the criteria of sustainability, research and commitment to technology and digitization. Precisely because of all these merits, together with the geographic location, the existence of an important cluster and a logistics boost also through the major rail-road corridors such as the Cantabrian-Mediterranean or the future Zaragoza-Algeciras highway, as well as cutting-edge projects such as Mobility City, Lambán believes that the Stellantes plant in Zaragoza should hold the leadership of the company.
From the first steps with an urban car like the Opel Corsa, its assembly lines soon incorporated other vehicles of the Brand, such as compacts like the Kadett or the Astra, coupés with a sporty vocation, like the Tigra, minivans, like the Meriva, commercial vehicles, like the Combo or SUVs like the Mokka, or the Opel Crossland and Citroën C3 Aircross, which sealed Opel’s incorporation into Groupe PSA in 2017.
With the sixth generation of the Opel Corsa, which was industrially launched at the end of 2019, electrification arrived at the Zaragoza plant, opening a new stage in the center’s history.
The Opel Corsa-e, which is produced in Zaragoza on a world exclusive basis, brought with it a technological modernization that opened the plant to the reality of Factory 4.0. Throughout these years, several initiatives supported by the Government of Aragon have been launched, including the Battery Assembly Workshop.
The Battery Workshop, which was inaugurated in 2021, the plant being already part of the Stellantis Group, assembles the batteries of the Opel Corsa-e, and the Citroën ë-C4, manufactured in Madrid. It has become a reference within Stellantis for the adoption of new IT systems, for the joint management of production, logistics and maintenance, and for the synergies in its daily work with the Madrid Center.
In addition to the production of electric cars, the Stellantis plant in Zaragoza stands out for its commitment to renewable energies. It currently has a self-consumption solar plant that covers a third of the factory’s electricity consumption. The installation of photovoltaic panels and wind power stations will continue in the near future, with the aim of ensuring 80% of the factory’s electricity needs by 2024. These actions contribute to the implementation of Stellantis’ Dare Forward 2030 plan, announced by Group CEO Carlos Tavares last March, to lead decarbonization in the automotive industry, reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2038, with a 50% reduction by 2030 and thus contributing to a sustainable future.
For the director of the Stellantis plant in Zaragoza, José Luis Alonso Mosquera, “we are celebrating our 40th anniversary in the best possible way. If in 1982 the first Corsa revolutionized the aesthetics and performance of its segment and gave the starting signal to these facilities, today, four decades and more than 14 million vehicles produced after the Opel and Citroën brands, we are proud to announce that we will produce a new model with electrified versions on the CMP platform. Between these two milestones, this plant has become a driving force for the economy of Aragon and a major technological benchmark in the Spanish automotive industry and in the Stellantis group. Achievements that could not have been made without the commitment of all the people who have worked and continue to work at this plant.