Renault chief operating officer Patrick Pelata has waded into the automaker’s supposed industrial espionage affair, saying continued speculation is not calming the situation.

Speaking on French radio during a visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, today (26 January), Pelata appeared to appeal for calm in the increasingly frenetic war of words that has seen Renault sack three of its senior executives.

“It is not very good that there are noises and rumours,” he says before referring to speculation of another company’s supposed involvement as “abracadabrant,” which appears to be a slang word for absurd and which he adds “is a bit of [a] delusion.

“It is not good for the calm of police and justice work,” he added.

When asked why Renault had not gone earlier to the French secret service DCRI, Pelata replied: “In my career, I have already participated in 10, not exactly similar, cases – we have always treated them internally – we protect first of all the business and eventually – if necessary go to justice – all businesses are like that.”

Earlier, a lawyer acting for Renault, Jean Reinhart, added to Pelata’s views also on French airwaves.

“In no way can we have this continued flow of information and disinformation – we ask ourselves who could that profit?” he said.