The heirs of Renault’s founder, Louis Renault, have filed a complaint against the French state in court to demand for the return of the automaker. After Louis Renault was branded as a Nazi collaborator, the state nationalized the brand in 1945. Renault, the brand founded by Louis and his brothers in 1898, was then controlled by Germany when Nazi occupied France in World War II. It was used to produce equipment for the German soldiers.
Louis Renault, who became known as having helped the Nazi, passed away nearly immediately after the Allies liberated Paris. He died before he could be prosecuted.
The French state then took control of the company. Currently, the French state is still the largest single shareholder, with a 15% share of Renault.
According to the AFP report, the seven grandchildren of Renault started the action after the new legal rule was handed down, to allow plaintiffs to challenge the constitutionality of legislation.
So far, Renault hasn’t commented on litigation and won’t do so while the litigation is ongoing. Thierry Levy, the lawyer who represents the heirs, said that the nationalization is in violation of his clients’ fundamental legal and property rights" and that his clients deserved compensation. [source: Autonews]