Renault‘s disposal of its entire 6.5% stake in truckmaker Volvo AB yesterday (13 December) for US$1.9bn, will lead to around 45% of the proceeds being used by the automaker to ‘reinforce’ its domestic position, claims the French government, which owns 15% of the manufacturer.

The bold assertion in a joint statement by the French Ministers of Finance and Economic Redevelopment – Pierre Moscovici and Arnaud Montebourg – comes as Renault is engaged in highly complex manoeuvring with its four main unions concerning radical restructuring in France.

“Around 45% of the proceeds from the transfer of the stake in Volvo will be used to reinforce Renault’s industrial base in France,” said the statement. “This reinforcement is a key element of Renault’s strategy in the framework of the 2011-2013 industrial plan, to commit an investment programme to France of EUR2bn (US$2.6bn), 40% of its global investment, despite the context of a difficult market.

“This programme includes notably, significant investment in Douai – Megane platform – the successors to the Laguna and Espace – in Sandouville – the arrival of the new Trafic – at Dieppe – Alpine launch – at Flins – continuation of Zoe investment and at Maubeuge – Kangoo.”

The joint statement by the two of France’s most powerful Ministers, adds the implementation of this programme is a continuation of Renault’s commitment to sustain all its sites in France.

“This transfer should also allow the Renault Group to pursue its development, by seeking international growth opportunities, notably in Russia and China and by continuing to reduce its debt,” said the statement.