Renault will Move Auto Line to France After State Aid

Will create 400 jobs

Renault is to shift part of its production from abroad to near Paris after receiving state aid in exchange for a promise not to shut French plants or axe French jobs, French Secretary of State for Industry Luc Chatel said on March 20.

"Today Renault will announce that production of a model which has until now been produced outside France will return home," he said on Europe 1 radio.

The move would create around 400 jobs at the Flins factory near Paris, Chatel said, without adding the name of the car model or the country where it is currently being produced.

Renault declined to comment on the report.

Renault last month said its net profits collapsed by 78% in 2008 amid a dramatic drop in global demand for cars following the credit crunch. Sales fell 30% in the fourth quarter and 7% for 2008 as a whole.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has agreed to lend auto makers PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault three billion euros (US$4.1 billion) each in exchange for a promise not to close French factories or dismiss French workers.

The plan has raised fears of protectionism in the face of the economic crisis but the EU's Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes last month said she was satisfied with French guarantees that the plan was not protectionist.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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