Renault is to plough EUR85m (US$120m) in its Brittany foundry securing 400 jobs at the 40,000t Western France facility.

The French automaker – which is funding the foundry that makes chassis and crank shafts with its own finance – will invest EUR85m into the Fonderie de Bretagne up to 2016 adding to an existing EUR39m investment already made.

“We bought that foundry one-and-a-half years ago – it needed to be renovated so we acted to invest and secure it for 400 people to work there,” a Renault spokeswoman in Paris told just-auto.

“It is a new line with a capacity of 40,000t per year. The investments are on a new line but also on the building itself and better working conditions.”

Production start-up for the new ‘spheroidal’ graphite line, mainly making chassis parts (stub axles, arms) and powertrain parts (crankshafts and differential casings), is scheduled for 2014, with build-up to full capacity by 2015.

Investments will also be made in improving safety and working conditions (roofs, heating, extraction, gantries), quality (test systems) and environmental preservation (soil, air and water protection).

Fonderie de Bretagne will also continue personnel training, at a rate of one week per person per year, with training expenditure estimated at EUR2m during the next five years.

Key dates in the project schedule start with a study phase in 2012, followed by substantial investment in 2013, start-up of the new line in 2014 and build-up to full capacity by 2015.

A statement from Renault adds an “essential component” for its Brittany foundry has been support from national and regional government bodies.

The further help will come in the guise of financial support on real estate, renovation and compliance upgrade, investment and training.