Renault thinking about building cars in France for Nissan, other partners

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 21, 2013

As part of a deal with France's unions on working conditions and more flexibility, Renault is thinking about building cars in France for Nissan and its other partners. In a statement, Renault said that it can start to make commitments on the distribution of volumes for its partners as soon as the agreement in the framework of negotiations with unions to ensure the global performance of Renault in France is signed.

When interviewed recently on radio station RMC, French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said that he had asked Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault and Nissan, to consider rolling out Nissan vehicles at underutilized Renault plants as part of the ongoing labor talks. Over the next four years, Renault intends to cut 7,500 jobs in France so that the automotive operations in the country will go back to breakeven.

During the talks with French unions, Renault has also said that it wants a longer workweek and other concessions. The automaker also cited a proposal of Nissan and Daimler production so that domestic plants continue to operate.

Renault is 15% government-owned and holds 43.4% of Nissan. Automakers throughout Europe are being pressured to reduce costs and capacity in order to halt losses, as car demand drops due to the euro zone debt crisis and government austerity plans. In 2012, auto sales in Europe had fallen close to a 20-year low.

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