FRANCE: Renault to maintain Clio 4 production in France
Renault has said that it will maintain some production of the next generation Clio (dubbed 'Clio 4') in France and not transfer all production to its Turkish facility at Bursa.
Renault currently makes its Clio in Turkey and at its Flins facility in France but it has been reported that the firm is considering moving all production to Turkey on Clio 4 in order to reduce costs. Turkey enjoys a customs union with the EU and has emerged as an attractive low-cost manufacturing destination for a number of European vehicle makers who ship from there to the EU.
Last week Renault came under political pressure in France to maintain jobs in its home country and continue Clio production at the Flins facility. President Sarkozy has linked French government aid with future investment plans in France. Last year he caused a political storm when he said that PSA should move production from its plant in central Europe to France.
"We haven't invested all this money supporting our carmakers just to see all the factories moved overseas," Sarkozy told lawmakers in the National Assembly last week.
The French state is also Renault's biggest shareholder with a 15 percent stake.
Following a meeting between President Sarkozy and Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn in Paris at the weekend, Renault said that it would continue Clio production in France. However, it was unclear how the split to production between France and Turkey will look.
Ghosn said after the meeting that the new Clio car will be built in Flins, France, and Bursa, Turkey, without detailing the split, and said employment would be maintained.
Ghosn told the Parisien daily on Sunday that production of the Clio in Flins would be roughly similar to the number of Clios sold in France, indicating that most of the production will take place in Bursa.
The new Clio 4 will be sold from 2013. The current car is made in Flins, Bursa as well as Novo Mesto, Slovenia, and Valladolid, Spain.
Clio production in Valladolid will finish with the next model.
More to follow