Renault stays French made

City A.M. Reporter
A REPRESENTATIVE of the French government will get a seat on the strategic committee of Renault, the country’s second-largest carmaker, Industry Minister Christian Estrosi said yesterday.

President Nicolas Sarkozy and Estrosi had an hour-long meeting with Renault’s executive chairman, Carlos Ghosn, and his deputy, Patrick Pelata, amid fears the group would move the entire production of a new small car to Turkey.

Ghosn said after the meeting that the new Clio car will be built in Flins, France, and Bursa, Turkey, without detailing the split, and said employment would be maintained.

Ghosn said also that production of the Clio in Flins would be roughly similar to the number of Clios sold in France, indicating that most of the production will take place in Bursa.

France has a 15.01 per cent stake in Renault and has two representatives on the non-executive board.

“We have decided that the state as shareholder will be on the strategic committee for the future industrial policy of Renault,” Estrosi said at a New Year’s reception in Nice, where he is mayor.

Renault sold some 146,000 Clio cars in France in 2009 out of a total of 330,500 Clios made.