French automaker Renault announces 15,000 job cuts

Ross Houston
May 29, 2020

Amid an economic crisis sparked by the global coronavirus pandemic, automotive manufacturers have been severely impacted by the downturn.

Some 4,600 jobs would go in France, though largely through a voluntary departure plan and a retirement scheme, Franck Daout of the CFDT trade union told REUTERS.

It has scrapped plans to expand the capacity of its plans in Morocco and Romania, will look to adapt the use of its plants in Russian Federation - which also include Lada's operations - and will study rationalising global gearbox manufacturing. The COVID-19 crisis "only adds to the emergency of this plan". Renault will also have to suspend its expansion plans in Morocco and Romania, and it will conduct a "study of the adaptation" of its production capacities in Russian Federation.

In a press release outlining how Renault will make the savings, Delbos added: "In a context of uncertainty and complexity, this project is vital to guarantee a solid and sustainable performance, with customer satisfaction as a priority".

Renault said Friday it would consult unions on plans to transfer Choisy-le-Roi activities to Flins, where recycling would be developed.

"Now people are a bit stunned", he said.

Speaking at a conference call on Friday, Renault's Interim CEO Clotilde Delbos reaffirmed the French manufacturer's commitment to F1 beyond the end of the 2020 season, when its current contract expires.

Renault says it plans to stay in Formula One despite the French auto manufacturer undergoing a major restructuring process that will see 15,000 layoffs worldwide.

On Thursday, Renault's strategic partner Nissan unveiled huge job cuts.

Other efficiency drives include a slashing of the number of vehicle platforms the company uses, from 12 down to 4, together with a product drive that will see 22 new model launches over the next three years, alongside "less diversity in vehicles".

Renault, like its Japanese partner Nissan, was already under pressure when the pandemic hit, posting its first loss in a decade in 2019.

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

The objective of reducing fixed costs by more than 2 billion euros over 3 years aims to restore the Group's competitiveness and ensure its long-term development within the framework of the Alliance.

Other reports by iNewsToday