‘Renault Could Disappear’ Without $5.5B Loan, Says French Finance Minister
25 May 2020 - motor1
Minister urges company to keep factories open, retain jobs. Meanwhile, Nissan struggles.
It's been a rough few years for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and the coronavirus pandemic certainly isn't making things easier. How bad are things going? According to a report from Reuters, Nissan could eliminate up to 20,000 jobs and Renault could disappear entirely. The two companies are announcing a strategy update on May 27.
Speaking to Europe 1 Radio, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire made the dire prediction, saying "Yes, Renault could disappear." Le Maire urged Renault to keep its Flins factory, the workplace of around 2,600 workers and home of production for the Zoe electric car and the Nissan Micra, open. The French government is currently weighing whether to float Renault $5.5 billion to help it weather the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, Renault is considering eliminating a number of models.
Things are not much better in Japan, as Nissan struggles both with the virus' impact on global sales as well as the fallout of the Carlos Ghosn scandal. According to Kyodo News, the company could slash 20,000 jobs globally, less than a year after it laid off 10 percent of its workforce.
Sources at Nissan have told Reuters the company is trying to become leaner and more agile, and will focus on the Chinese and North American while limiting its European operations. Meanwhile, its annual sales target could fall by up to a million units as demand continues to dry up as the pandemic worsens.
According to Reuters report, neither automaker chose to comment. As of last year, the Alliance was the third largest vehicle manufacturer on the planet, behind only the Volkswagen Group and Toyota.