Renault has told staff it will suspend production on two assembly lines for two models at its Sandouville factory in Normandy, northern France, owing to poor sales, the CGT trade union said on Nov. 19.
The production line for the Espace, a large MPV will be idled for 70 days in 2011, while construction of the Laguna saloon will be halted for 61 days, a union representative said after a meeting with management.
The factory, which is capable of producing 400,000 vehicles per year will produce just 53,000 in 2011, a drop from 69,000 planned for this year, according to the union.
Despite the idling of the production lines nearly a third of the factory's current 2,300 employees will be superfluous, added the union representative.
Car sales in France, in common with many markets in western Europe, are showing sharp falls on a 12-month comparison because manufacturers had been helped through the economic downturn last year with government subsidies for customers who scrapped a car to buy a new one.
Those subsidies have been, or are being, phased out.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010