Faltering Renault to cut 15,000 jobs worldwide, including 4,600 in France

Andrew Cummings
May 29, 2020

Renault SA plans to eliminate about 14,600 jobs worldwide and lower production capacity by nearly a fifth as part of cost reductions aimed at outlasting the downturn that has rocked the global auto industry.

Suspension of planned capacity increase projects in Morocco and Romania, study of the adaptation of the Group's production capacities in Russian Federation, study of the rationalization of gearbox manufacturing worldwide.

The transfer of Groupe Renault's stake in Dongfeng Renault Automotive Company Ltd (DRAC) in China to Dongfeng Motor Corporation and the cessation of Renault branded passenger auto combustion engine activities in the Chinese market.

"No to shutdown" read banners unfurled by dozens of workers protesting outside the plant on Friday.

Renault is launching a consultation process on the Douai and Maubeuge plants to study the creation of an optimized centre of excellence for electric vehicles and light commercial vehicles in northern France.

Overall, Renault's production capacity will shrink to 3.3 million vehicles over the next four years, from four million now.

He called for more protests to put pressure on Renault's leadership. "We think we will need to find ways to protest and oppose the plan".

It said the restructuring measures - including the job cuts, transfers and retirement plans that would affect just under 10% of its global workforce - would cost 1.2 billion euros.

That raised concern for some of its factories, including in France, although closures could be politically sensitive. The cutbacks are meant to save Renault €2 billion over three years as it struggles to cope with the major crisis facing the automotive industry.

"In a context of uncertainty and complexity, this project is vital to guarantee a solid and sustainable performance", interim CEO Clotilde Delbos said in a statement.

Senard said he expects the government loan guarantee to be formally signed soon.

Finance minister Bruno Le Maire said earlier this week that the group's survival is at stake.

Since then sales in cars worldwide have plunged in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns.

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