Blog: Renault gets slippery on Clio 4 and Flins
Dave Leggett | 18 January 2010
There have been some interesting manoeuvrings in Paris over where the next Renault Clio - 'Clio 4' – will be built. Renault has clearly come under considerable pressure from President Sarkozy to say that the Clio car will continue to be built in France at the Flins plant, rather than be switched 100% to lower cost Turkey (an option said to be under consideration).
Renault has now said that the plan is to make the electric Zoe at Flins with Flins also making some Clio 4. If the Zoe is hugely successful, then Flins capacity will be taken up with that – Clio 4 volume then being displaced elsewhere – but there is certainly double sourcing to start with. And Renault is also apparently guaranteeing employment levels at Flins. Zoe production volumes are, of course, a great unknown.
Sarkozy is therefore off the hook – able to say that some Clios will continue to be made at Flins, contrary to reports, and that employment levels are guaranteed – while Renault has kept things more than a little bit hazy on how many Clio 4s will actually be built in France.
And that haziness on the France/Turkey split should also be enough to keep the European Commission off Renault's backs, too – if it had indicated it had changed its mind and would now be making more Clios in France after Sarkozy's objections to the Turkey transfer idea, Brussels would certainly be taking more interest on state aid/competition grounds.
Nice bit of politics.
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