Renault to cut almost 15,000 jobs in bid to save €2bn in costs

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The reduction in staff represents 40 per cent of planned savings

Renault is planning to cut around 15,000 jobs, pull back on production and restructure some of its French factories as it looks to reduce €2bn (£1.8bn, $2.2bn) in costs amid falling demand and the aftermath of the 2018 arrest of Carlos Ghosn.

After recording its first loss in a decade last year and with sales plunging, the carmaker is trying to achieve more than €2bn in savings over the next three years while cutting global production capacity from 4m vehicles in 2019 to 3.3m by 2024.

Before his arrest on charges of financial misconduct in Japan, former Renault chief Ghosn had targeted selling more than 5m vehicles by 2022. Renault said that the cost-cutting plan was not a change in strategy and that new chief Luca de Meo, who will join this summer, could unveil his own direction for the company by the end of the year.

As part of the savings programme, Renault said it was launching discussions with unions to repurpose or close a number of plants in France. The group has not yet made any final decisions about the future of the six sites under review in France.

The 14,600 planned job cuts across the group will take place by 2022. This will include a reduction of 4,600 staff in France and more than 10,000 in the rest of the world out of the 180,000 it employs globally.

The headcount reduction represents 40 per cent of planned savings. Overall, €800m in cuts would come from reduced engineering costs, €650m from production costs and €700m from reduced administration and a faster shift to digital marketing.

Recently Renault said it was close to securing a multibillion-euro credit line from the French state as it burns through cash at a rate of €600m a month with sales around the world declining due to coronavirus.

The carmaker hopes to put in place the agreement, which will involve a state-guaranteed loan given through banks and is expected to be about €4bn to €5bn, in the coming weeks.

The state is Renault’s biggest shareholder, with just over 15 per cent of the capital.

 

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