Renault SA wants an early-retirement deal with unions in response to falling domestic production. Caroline De Gezelle, a spokeswoman at Renault's Paris headquarters says the carmaker is citing French labor laws that grant factory workers to get early retirements. In return, Renault promised to avoid job cuts.
The Company's local production output has dropped due to plunging sales of larger car models assembled exclusively in France.
De Gezelle says the plan is related to forecasts that included an estimated 23 percent output drop in 2011 at Sandouville, the northern French facility that makes the Espace and Laguna models.
Production of smaller car models like the Twingo minicar and the Clio subcompact has been increasing to cope with the demand in the western European market, including Slovenia, Turkey and other lower-wage economies.
Renault considers transferring future replacements for the Laguna mid-sized car and Espace minivan to its Douai, France facility from Sandouville.
In September, Renault was able to repay one-third of an emergency EUR3 billion ($4.1 billion) state loan it had gotten early in 2009 to get it through the credit crunch. [via autonews - sub. required]