French carmaker Renault is planning to create 1,300 jobs in Spain under a scheme to increase output at its local plants, following an agreement with unions. Renault said in a statement that it will assign its Palencia plant in Northern Spain to build two new vehicle platforms, one a derivative of the other, and shared with Nissan.
The new platforms will underpin four vehicle bodies, allowing the French carmaker to boost total annual production by around 40,000 units to 280,000 units.
Through 2014 and 2015, output at Renault’s engine and gearbox plants will increase to almost 1.4 million units annually, the carmaker added. The carmaker’s body assembly plant in Valladolid will gain from the "competitive performance” agreed from recent negotiations with the carmaker carmakers, extending and improving the facility's options “with regard to future assignments."
Renault’s announcement over its plans in Spain comes as the carmaker commenced negotiations on a French new labor agreement it wanted to finalize by the end of January 2013.
Renault has asked French workers for pay the working time concessions, warning that the results of the negotiations outcome of talks may affect future production plans, unions disclosed earlier this month.
Pressured by the continued dwindling of the European car market, Renault is aiming to align French wage and production costs with its plant in Palencia, Spain, as well as with Nissan's Sunderland site in England, Renault Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares remarked in September.
Renault has been operating in Spain through Renault España Sociedad Anónima, or RESA. RESA is considered as one of the largest manufacturing subsidiaries of Renault. It operates the carmaker’s factories in Valladolid, Palencia and Sevilla, although most of its administrative offices are located in Madrid.
The carmaker’s operation in Spain first rooted in 1908, when company founder Louis Renault established in Spain the Sociedad Anonima Española de Automoviles Renault (SAEAR). Renault’s second subsidiary outside the French territory after the English branch, SAEAR was intended to distribute cars imported from France. SAEAR was soon renamed to RESA.
However, the Spanish government soon began limiting on imports of completed cars, persuading Renault to establish an assembly facility in Villadolid, Spain. This saw the creation of FASA (Fabricacion de Automoviles SA) in 1951 by Renault and a group of industrialists and businessmen, obtaining license to assemble Renault-branded vehicles in Spain. Renault combined SAEAR and FASA in 1965, with the French carmaker owning 49.9 percent of the Spanish company, which was renamed to FASA-Renault. In 1978, FASA-Renault completed the construction of the Palencia factory.
FASA-Renault became a wholly owned subsidiary of Renault in 2000, and is now called Renault España Sociedad Anonima (RESA).