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by David Zalstein

Renault has released a short statement countering reports the French manufacturer threatened to close two sites in France as negotiations with unions over job security continue.

According to some reports, members of France’s CFE-CGC union said Renault management had warned them that if they did not sign an agreement relating to production performance, two sites could be closed.

In response Renault said, “Contrary to certain news items published…Renault has never said that ‘two sites’ could be closed if no agreement were to be reached in the current negotiations on the performance of French sites.”

“Renault would like to stress that the aim of these negotiations is, with the agreement of the trade unions, not to close sites and not to make lay-offs.”

In a statement made after the sixth negotiation meeting on January 15, Executive Vice President, Chairman of Operations in France, Gérard Leclercq, reiterated Renault’s determination to keep corporate activities and core business in France.

“If an agreement were to be signed with the trade unions, the redeployment of the workforce would require no site closures, job protection plans or voluntary departure plans.”

The same meeting outlined a plan for the loss of a total of 7500 jobs by 2016 in order to help lower the company’s break-even point by contributing savings of roughly $506 million (400 million euros) to fixed costs. Renault says its break-even point in 2011 was too close to 2.72 million vehicles sold, posing a risk for the company, suggesting it now considers it necessary to lower its break-even point to 12 per cent below the level of sales in 2011, meaning vehicle sales of 2.39 million.




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