Renault's Korean unit to cut 15% of work force on poor sales
SEOUL (Reuters) -- Renault's South Korean unit plans to cut around 15 percent of its work force under a "voluntary retirement program" in an effort to cut costs, the company said on Monday.
Sales at Renault Samsung slumped 40.4 percent in the first eight months of this year, with domestic sales plunging 52 percent and overseas shipments falling 32 percent.
The carmaker is grappling with falling demand brought on by a slowing global economy and a limited product line-up.
Renault Samsung said about 800 workers out of a total 5,500, will leave the company under the program.
The automaker announced plans for the scheme last month. Voluntary retirement is the preferred method used by companies to cut personnel costs in South Korea where layoffs are generally frowned upon.
Renault produces vehicles for domestic and overseas sales at its Busan factory in South Korea, with an annual production capacity of 300,000 vehicles. Its exports include alliance partner Nissan's Sunny and Almera and Renault's Fluence and Latitude.
The company denied media reports about further possible job cuts and Renault's transfer of the unit to Nissan.
A spokeswoman for the company said a local media report that suggested Renault may hand over control of the unit to Nissan was "groundless".
The report said Renault-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn ordered the alliance to start working on the transfer in 2014 when Nissan plans to produce Rogue vehicles at the Busan factory.
Renault took a majority stake in the former Samsung Group carmaking unit in 2000 and now holds an 80 percent stake.
In July, the company said that production at the plant will be around 180,000 vehicles this year.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this reportContact Automotive News