Renault denies it may close two French plants
PARIS -- Renault said its workers in France need to make concessions on pay and conditions to safeguard the future of domestic plants but denied a union leader's claim that it plans to shutter two French factories.
Gerard Leclercq, Renault's head of French operations, said on Wednesday that without a deal to increase productivity the automaker will be forced to take other action to cut costs.
"If there is no deal, it is impossible to leave things as they are," Leclercq said in a BFM radio interview. "All options are open. But, for the moment, there is no plan B."
On Tuesday, Dominique Chauvin, head of the CFE-CGC union at the carmaker, said a plant in Flins near Paris is most at risk of closing. The plant builds the Clio subcompact and is Renault's largest car factory in France.
Renault last week unveiled plans to cut 7,500 French jobs over four years. The job cuts are intended to produce about 400 million euros in savings, Renault said. Total workers' pay amount for 60 percent of Renault's fixed costs in France, the company said.
The job cuts come on top of other plans, including a 6.5 percent increase in work hours at the country's plants that would reduce spending by 65 million euros. The automaker is also asking unions to agree to a wage freeze in France this year and then raises of 0.5 percent in 2014 and 0.75 percent in 2015.
On Tuesday, the carmaker offered commitments to build an additional 80,000 vehicles annually in France for alliance partner Nissan and Daimler in return for a labor deal.
Renault's current full-year production in France amounts to 530,000 vehicles for its own brand, according to the automaker.
Unions were set to carry out a series of production stoppages at Renault sites around the country on Wednesday in protest at the company's demands.
Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this reportContact Automotive News