The French carmaker Renault plans to cut 14,600 jobs as it aims to save €2bn (£1.8bn) in one of the deepest restructuring programmes prompted by the coronavirus pandemic across the global car industry.
Renault will cut 4,600 jobs in its French operations, which will undergo a major reorganisation, and another 10,000 around the world.
The cost-cutting is on a similar scale to Nissan, Renault’s alliance partner, which on Thursday announced the closure of its Barcelona car plant as part of a restructuring plan. The two companies have rejected proposals to merge their operations fully but have committed to letting one of the carmakers “lead” in each global region.
Renault said it will cut its global production capacity from 4m vehicles in 2019 to 3.3m by 2024. Closures could include a foundry in Brittany and either the Douai or Maubeuge plants.
The carmaker will also abandon selling combustion engine cars in China, with Dongfeng buying out its joint-venture partner.
The job cuts are likely to have been agreed with the French government, which has been in discussions about providing an emergency €5bn loan guarantee for Renault. The French state owns 15% of the carmaker.
Clotilde Delbos, Renault’s interim chief executive, said: “In a context of uncertainty and complexity, this project is vital to guarantee a solid and sustainable performance, with customer satisfaction as a priority.
“By capitalising on our many assets such as the electric vehicle, by capitalising on the resources and technologies of Groupe Renault and the Alliance, and by reducing the complexity of development and production of our vehicles, we want to generate economies of scale to restore our overall profitability and ensure our development in France and internationally.”