PARIS (Reuters) -- Renault will ask unions for a new nationwide deal on pay and conditions to avert plant closures and mass layoffs of the kind announced by troubled rival PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares told Reuters.
Faced with a sustained slump in European auto demand, Renault will ask unions to begin negotiations to align French labor and production costs with factories in Spain and the UK, Tavares said in an interview at the Paris auto show on Thursday.
"We're not asking for the moon," Tavares said. "We're talking about benchmarks."
Renault's No. 2 executive said unions were mindful of the situation at PSA, its larger domestic competitor, which plans to cut more than 10,000 jobs, close one assembly plant and shrink another.
"They understand that it's urgent," Tavares said. "The contrast with our French competitor is helping them to understand that it's better to discuss how we fix the situation."
Sales at Renault Group, which includes the low-cost Dacia brand, fell 16.1 percent in EU and EFTA countries in the first eight months, according to data from the industry organization ACEA. Overall sales in the region dropped 6.6 percent in the same period.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report