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Renault presented a restructuring plan on Friday that will cut some 15,000 jobs worldwide and trim annual costs by some 2 billion euros following a drop in sales as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“In a context of uncertainty and complexity, this project is vital to guarantee a solid and sustainable performance, with customer satisfaction as a priority,” Clotilde Delbos, interim Chief Executive Officer of Renault, said in a statement.

The job cuts will affect 8 percent of the car manufacturer’s global workforce and will be staggered across a three year plan, with 4,600 jobs lost in France and 10,000 worldwide.

“This workforce adjustment project would be based on retraining measures, internal mobility and voluntary departures,” the group said.

The changes will be implemented through consultation with the social partners and local authorities via an ongoing dialogue in each affected country, Renault added.

The move comes after Renault’s partner Nissan announced huge job cuts on Thursday affecting a plant in Barcelona, Spain, and resulting in 2,800 lost jobs.

The Renault restructuring will see a cut in production capacities from four million vehicles in 2019 to 3.3 million by 2024.

The group has also put expansion projects in Morocco and Romania on hold, is slashing gearbox manufacturing worldwide and trimming the volume of subcontractors it uses.

“By capitalizing on our many assets such as the electric vehicle, by capitalizing 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,” Delbos said.

Despite no factories closing in France just yet, the company will examine their future through a process of consultation with union representatives and authorities.

The Douai and Maubeuge factories, in the north of the country near the Belgian border, will become “an optimized centre of excellence for electric vehicles and light commercial vehicles.”

The future is less certain for the Dieppe plant, which assembles the Alpine A110 sports car, with the factory's future under review once production halts.

The Choisy le Roi will be moved to Flins, which will stop assembling vehicles when production of the Zoe electric car ends and will become a "circular economy ecosystem."

The Fonderie de Bretagne facilities will be under strategic review.

Renault did not detail how other countries would be affected despite 10,000 jobs being on the line.

Renault estimates that implementing its adjustment plan will cost about 1,2 billion euros.

Chairman of the Renault board, Jean-Dominique Senard, said “the planned changes are fundamental to ensure the sustainability of the company and its development over the long term.”

Renault was already facing pressure before the coronavirus crisis as a result of a poor performance in 2019 when for the first time in ten years it recorded losses of 141 million euros.EFE-EPA

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