Saturday, July 4, 2020

Renault may close plants and cut jobs


An employee on strike, wearing a protective face mask, is seen in front the Fonderie de Bretagne plant, a subsidiary of Groupe Renault, during a blockage to protest against its possible closure in Caudan, France, May 25, 2020. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

PARIS: French carmaker Renault could unveil job cuts and plant closures on Thursday as the company looks to save two billion euros ($2.2bn) in costs, a representative for far-left union CGT said yesterday.

Renault has called for a meeting with unions on Thursday regarding its cost-saving plans, the representative said.

“This is when the general management will formalise what it calls a 2bn (euro) cost-cutting plan, in which further staff reductions and even site closures can be expected,” CGT representative Fabien Gache said.

A second union source confirmed that a meeting with unions is planned for Thursday.

A Renault spokesman said that French law requires advance notice to staff representatives, adding that he was not aware of the day and the timing of the meeting.

The French carmaker, which last year posted its first loss in 10 years, is expected to detail a drastic three-year savings plan at the end of the week.

Renault, which has been in a carmaking alliance with Japanese group Nissan for the past two decades, was rocked by the November 2018 arrest of the alliance’s architect and long-time boss Carlos Ghosn on charges of financial misconduct. Ghosn denies the charges.

The company has also suffered declining sales in key markets even before the coronavirus pandemic hammered demand for vehicles and threw production into disarray.