France warns Renault could disappear

PARIS/TOKYO (Reuters) – Europe’s car industry was put on alert for more job losses on Friday as a French minister warned Renault could disappear if it didn’t get help soon and a Japanese news report said partner Nissan was considering 20,000 layoffs, with many in Europe.

Renault (RENA.PA) and Nissan (7201.T) have been in a carmaking alliance for the past two decades and are due to announce a strategy update next Wednesday.

The plan was originally billed as a reset of their relationship, which was rocked by the November 2018 arrest in Japan of the alliance’s architect and long-time boss Carlos Ghosn on charges of financial misconduct, which he denies.

2020 Renault Zoe (Image: Renault)
2020 Renault Zoe (Image: Renault)

However, the update has taken on greater significance since the coronavirus pandemic hammered demand for vehicles and threw production into disarray.

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire, who is considering a 5 billion euro ($5.5 billion) loan for Renault to help it through the crisis, warned on Friday the company’s future was at stake.

“Yes, Renault could disappear,” he told Europe 1 radio.

Read more: Reuters via Fuel Included News

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