While The "Canard enchaîné", dated this Wednesday, reveals that Renault is planning to close four production sites in France, the Prime minister Edouard Philippe has reacted in the wake of the news from the Senate. While stressing that the " plan is not yet submitted and therefore probably not yet arrested ", he assured that the State, which is a shareholder of the manufacturer, was "extremely attentive" to the situation. "We will be extremely committed, and uncompromising, to the conservation of sites France ", he added. "We will be extremely demanding on the fact that France remains the world center for Renault in the engineering, research, innovation and development", and " we will be extremely attached to the quality of the dialogue and of social support ", has he continued.
A loan of € 5 billion guaranteed by the State
Choisy-le-Roi, Dieppe, the Foundries of Britain and, later, Flins : the car manufacturer Renault would consider closing these four French production sites, in the context of a larger plan to save the renault brand needs to clarify on the 29th of may, after having announced last February. The management of Renault and the ministry of Economy did not want to comment.
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The French State, main shareholder of Renault, with 15 % of the share capital, intends to guarantee a bank loan of approximately 5 billion euros for the manufacturer. But this assistance does not imply to renounce to job losses. "There are discussions. Nothing is set in stone ", was entrusted to the Agence France-Presse a source close to the dossier, under the cover of anonymity.
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More than 3 600 jobs affected
The factory of Flins-sur-Seine (Yvelines) manufactures the citadines Zoe (electric), and Nissan Micra. She has assembled 160 000 vehicles in 2019 and currently has 2 600 employees. The site also produced until last year, the old version of the Renault Clio, now completely delocalized in Turkey. The factory of Choisy-le-Roi (Val-de-Marne) employs 263 people in the repair of engines and gearbox used as parts of re-employment.
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That of Dieppe (Seine-Maritime) has a total of 386 employees and assembles the sports model, the Alpine A110, a sports coupe with ambitions for top of the range sold very little. The production rate had been reduced to 7 vehicles per day in the beginning of the year. Finally, the foundry of Britain in Caudan (Morbihan), produces cast iron components for engines, chassis and gearboxes, with 385 employees. In trouble even before the crisis of the coronavirus that caused a collapse of the automotive market, Renault was recorded last year its first loss in ten years. The manufacturer has seen the beginning of April its credit rating lowered to the status of a leveraged investment by Standard & Poor s.
" Is it that the 5 billion that the government is preparing to lend to the Renault will be used to restructure the company ? "
This Wednesday, may 20, Philippe Martinez, general secretary of the CGT, was considered "unthinkable" that the management of Renault wants to close four sites in France, as written by The Canard enchaîné, while the government " wants its re-industrialization ". Renault " a need to replicate Renault in France and work on the employment in France. The situation of the Renault is not due to the health crisis. It is due to years of governance Carlos Ghosn [the former CEO] in the past, which has been erected as a god for years, and we see the consequences of his strategy. It is this strategy that need to change ", he called on RTL. "Is this that the 5 billion that the government is preparing to lend to the Renault will be used to restructure the company ? This is a big problem ", asks the union leader.
The CGT, Renault has made it known in a press release on Wednesday that " these announcements are relayed by the press remind us of the scenario of 2012. The directors had used the press to announce the probable plant closures, and in particular that of Flins ", in order to " generate a climate of fear and then condition in an agreement of competitiveness, the maintenance of a part of the activity (in a short time) to the acceptance of less-called social ". The CGT is concerned that" with the loan of 5 billion euros of "guaranteed," we are witnessing a remake of 2011 ", when "Renault had already received a loan of 3 billion that have ultimately served to finance the outsourcing and relocation of industrial operations and engineering" of the group. The trade unions of the automaker will be received by the executive next week.