Renault's largest union has welcomed plans by the automaker to create a potential 4,700 new jobs by 2013 subject to agreement.

Describing the news as "a lifeline," the CFE-CGC labour body noted Renault would make engineering a priority with 1,600 new posts destined to make Renault competitive in international markets.

"The 400 recruits in the manufacturing sector are considered by the CFE-CGC as the start of a willingness on behalf of the business to reindustrialise its French production sites, linked to the product plan which will shortly be announced by Carlos Ghosn," said a union statement.

"The 2,700 study contracts will give the business a facelift allowing young people to alternate between studying and training. These young people in training will be a real breeding ground for future hiring by Renault in the years to come."

The union, which recognised the deal had formally to be agreed, added it hoped Renault's policy would be firmed up in the coming months.

A Renault statement noted the agreement, pending signing, would affect employees at Renault sites and manufacturing subsidiaries in France.