4,600. This is ultimately the number of jobs that Renault would plan to cut in France (and 15,000 worldwide). A measure which must be part of the vast 2 billion euros saving plan that the car manufacturer will set up over three years, by 2024. The information was revealed on Tuesday by “the Figaro ”.
It therefore seems to be confirmed this Thursday evening, after the plan was presented to the trade union organizations. A new presentation, public this time, will be made this Friday morning by the president of the group Jean-Dominique Senard, as well as its general manager (acting) Clotilde Delbos. The French manufacturer saw its volumes fall by 3.4% last year, to 3.75 million vehicles, accompanied by a net loss of 141 million euros. A first for ten years.
Three French sites to close
The group’s production capacities worldwide should therefore be reduced, from 4 million vehicles currently to around 3.3 million. Three French sites should close, including the Foundry of Brittany (Morbihan). A fourth, Flins (Yvelines), should end its automobile production within a few years. Renault employs around 48,000 people in France, or 27% of its global workforce. 4,600 jobs cut, that would represent almost 10% of its workforce in France.
Knowing that the group had already implemented a similar measure in 2013. At the time, the automotive sector was in full swing, after the financial crisis of 2008. PSA was on the verge of bankruptcy, and Renault was not much better . The two manufacturers had also benefited in 2009 from a loan “in equity” from the State, up to 6.5 billion euros, which they had started to repay in advance in 2011.
But on the strength of an intense relocation policy carried out by forced march in the 2000s, part of the factories of the two manufacturers found themselves in the following decade in overcapacity. Renault had therefore decided to cut two 7,500 jobs two years later, or 17% of the workforce. PSA for its part had terminated the contract for 6000 of its employees.
“Without dismissal”, promises the group
“Please note, an internal source warns, this reduction in staff will be done without redundancy, only on the basis of voluntary departures or retirement, mobility measures or retraining. It is with this argument that Renault intends to finalize its request for a loan guaranteed by the State (PGE) of 5 billion euros, while it was conditioned to the maintenance of jobs in France. The terms of this loan have also been the subject of all this last week of “heated discussions between the management of Renault and Bercy”, according to a source familiar with the matter, who uses this euphemism …
“These job cuts – which we were aware of, and which are not layoffs – do not make the ELP stuck, absolutely not, confirms a senior official of the Ministry of Economy. This must be signed in the coming days. And if the state does not sign the EMP, anyway, all Renault sites will close. “
Bercy thus claims to have used this loan guaranteed by the State as a “lever” in the negotiations. “We could have signed the EMP three weeks ago, but we preferred to wait,” insists the Ministry of the Economy. Because we did not sit idly by, we intervened, we checked that the three-color factories were well treated. “
The objective for the State, shareholder of Renault up to 15%, is therefore to restore competitiveness to the three-color manufacturer. “Only in this way will the group have the capacity to save jobs and repay its loan guaranteed by the state,” concludes Bercy. If Renault were unable to do so, French taxpayers would lose a lot of money. “