Renault is bracing for a “long crisis” that could last into 2011 but will not cut production lines in France while it receives state aid, a top executive has said.


Renault “has to prepare itself for the current situation of a market fall of 20-25% to last all of 2009, all of 2010 and maybe all of 2011,” managing director Patrick Pelata told AFP on the sidelines of a parliament meeting in Paris. Renault “has clearly passed into crisis management mode,” he added.


But he also reaffirmed “Renault’s commitment not to close any assembly lines in France for the duration of the loan” of EUR3bn ($4bn) that it is receiving from the French state to cope with the crisis.


And Pelata said there were signs of demand beginning to pick up, pointing out that Renault’s production had gone up between 30 and 40% in January compared to December, rose 15% again in February and was up in March.


Pelata said however that Renault would reduce its wage bill by 10% and would shed 9,000 jobs globally under a voluntary redundancy plan.


Renault may also have to make “a few more sacrifices” if the crisis worsened, he said.


Separately, it was reported today that the automaker’s Brazil unit has recalled furloughed workers sooner than expected.