Unions at Renault’s Revoz factory in Slovenia say the downsizing to two shifts instead of three 14 days ago, has not had the the devastating impact on the local economy that was first feared.

The factory at Novo Mesto has had to slash more than 300 jobs following a fall in demand for Renault’s Wind model, but given the wide dispersal of employees, even from outside Slovenia, staff have managed to secure other work.

“People were travelling from Croatia and Ljubljana – that is why the impact on Novo Mesto [was lessened] because not all the workers were from Novo Mesto,” Trade Union of Metal and Electrical Industry in Slovenia (SKEI) president, Lidija Jerkic, told just-auto from Slovenia.

The union is also pinning its hopes on a possible successor to Renault’s Twingo being produced at Revoz, with some speculation raising the possibility this could even be a new ‘5’ model return.

Part of that hope however, could depend on Slovenia being granted state aid to the tune of EUR45m (US$57m) for new production, although the SKEI president has yet to hear if Brussels has approved the help.

“I just don’t know whether they get an agreement from the European Commission,” said Jerkic. “The agreement has said it will finance the new production of course.

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“Revoz is a big employer so it is an interesting employer from the government point of view.”