Renault: France approves an emergency loan of 5 billion euros to Renault

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PARIS: The French government announced Tuesday that it has taken out a public loan of five billion euros ($ 5.6 billion) for the carmaker Renault, where the coronavirus crisis has worsened months of management turbulence and prompted l company to lay off nearly 15,000 people worldwide.
Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire approved the loan after a meeting with executives, labor representatives and local officials affected by a radical overhaul unveiled by Renault last week, the finance ministry said.
The government announced the loan last month, but said it was contingent on Renault’s commitment to maintain jobs and basic operations in France.
The company said four production sites in France could be closed or restructured, including the Maubeuge site in northern France, from where production of Kangoo electric vans is transferred to nearby Douai.
This prompted thousands of people in the city to demonstrate over the weekend.
The Mayor “asked that talks begin immediately with the unions on the implementation of an industrial project for the future… which should guarantee long-term, beyond 2023, employment and industrial activities in Maubeuge Said the ministry.
“No decision will be made on moving the activities without having been approved by all parties,” he said.
Renault has pledged to cut costs by two billion euros as it tries to regain its financial base after sales in its main French market fell 89% in April, reflecting factory closings and dealer closings worldwide.
President Emmanuel Macron also promised an eight billion euro plan to revive the French automobile industry by making it the European leader in electric cars, including subsidies for the purchase of new cars.
In February Renault unveiled its first annual loss in a decade after former managing director Carlos Ghosn was arrested in Japan in 2018 for alleged financial misconduct by his partner Nissan, of which Ghosn was president.
Since his ouster, the former boss of Michelin, Jean-Dominique Senard, has taken over the presidency of Renault, and the former director of Volkswagen, Luca de Meo, should join the CEO in July.

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