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Renault tight-lipped on politician's "edge" comment

By Simon Warburton | 18 June 2020

Renault has secured a EUR5bn (US$5.7bn) credit facility backed by Frances Finance Ministry (pictured) and as it launched a EUR2bn cost reduction plan.

Renault has secured a EUR5bn (US$5.7bn) credit facility backed by France's Finance Ministry (pictured) and as it launched a EUR2bn cost reduction plan.

Renault says it has no comment at this stage concerning French Secretary of State, Agnès Pannier-Runacher's observation the automaker was "on the edge."

The politician, whose views were made on 12 June and confirmed to just-auto by the French Finance Ministry, come as Renault secured a EUR5bn (US$5.7bn) credit facility and as it launched a EUR2bn cost reduction plan.

Runacher's Ministry noted her observations were in line with previous comments made by the French government.

"Renault is on the edge," said Pannier-Runacher, who is Secretary of State to French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire. "So you can be in denial in forbidding them to do anything, or you look to unions, workers, at the best way to get through this crisis. And us, our compass is very clear: we want more production in France and we have secured commitments from Renault to relocalise electric engines for example, at Cléon.

"It's very clear, it's very precise and that is more jobs. We want support for staff, we want investment and we want them to be responsible for sub-contractors, for SMEs and companies of intermediate size who work for them.

"I'm not going to do Renault's job for them. On the other hand, I will be extremely vigilant on the quality of social dialogue and in the way in which they build the main electric car of tomorrow."

Renault's banking pool is made up of five banks: BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, HSBC France, Natixis and Société Générale. A maximum total amount of EUR5bn may be drawn in whole or in part and in one or several times, until 31 December, 2020.

The manufacturer is looking to reduce its fixed costs by more than EUR2bn across a three- year period, which will involve the loss of 4,600 jobs in France and 10,000 around the world.

Renault has launched a consultation process on the Douai and Maubeuge plants to study the creation of an electric and light commercial vehicles centre in northern France.

Four Renault unions have 'unanimously and strongly' criticised the manufacturer's cost reduction plans.