France wants Renault to maintain its French factories

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PARIS (Reuters) – The French government will insist on preserving Renault production plants in France and wants it to remain the automaker’s global center for engineering, research, innovation and development, Prime Minister said on Wednesday Minister Edouard Philippe.

Speaking in the Senate, he said the government was particularly concerned about keeping the Flins plant, northwest of Paris.

At the end of May, Renault plans to forecast 2 billion euros ($ 2.2 billion) in spending cuts over the next three years after posting its first loss in a decade last year.

The French financial daily Les Echos has announced that Renault plans to close three of its French sites, including an assembly plant in Dieppe, and that it will stop manufacturing cars in Flins.

Renault’s chairman of the board, Jean-Dominique Senard, and interim CEO Clotilde Delbos are scheduled to meet with unions on Monday to discuss the plan announced in February.

At the time, Delbos said there would be no taboos, which raised union concerns about the job cuts.

But with the French state as its main shareholder and a bank loan of five billion euros guaranteed by the state to help it cope with the coronavirus epidemic, Renault has relatively limited job loss opportunities in France.

($ 1 = 0.9098 euros)

(Reporting by Marine Penntier and Gilles Guillaume; Writing by GV De Clercq; Editing by Jan Harvey, Kirsten Donovan)

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