Renault-Fiat Merger Project: Bruno Le Maire Does Not Want any Plant Closures in France

The Minister of Finance, Bruno Le Maire, May 22, 2019 in Paris.

The Minister of Finance, Bruno Le Maire demands that the proposed merger between Renault and Fiat provides guarantees of job preservation and maintenance of current industrial sites in France.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Tuesday demanded that the proposed merger between Renault and Fiat builders does not lead to any plant closures in France , without considering an increase in the state’s shareholding in the capital.

The minister has asked Jean-Dominique Senard, current president of Renault, guarantees “on the preservation of jobs and industrial sites in France,” he said on RTL, the day after the announcement of the proposed merger between the two manufacturers.

“Zero factory closed in France”

Asked whether it required a commitment of “zero factory closed in France” from Renault and Fiat, Bruno Le Maire replied “of course.”

“This is the first guarantee that I demand from Mr Senard on the opening of these negotiations with Fiat,” he explained.

“It is up to him to come back to me in the following days, since I have given my agreement to the opening of negotiations, on the guarantees that he was able to obtain from Fiat on Renault’s industrial footprint. in France”.

As a second guarantee, Mr. Le Maire explained that he was waiting for this operation “to be done as part of the alliance between Renault and Nissan,” without further details.

He also asked Mr. Senard for guarantees on the future governance of the new entity, so that “French interests are well represented”.

Finally, he asked the president of Renault that the group born of this merger participates in the initiative of electric batteries engaged with Germany.

“A great opportunity”

Bruno Le Maire confirmed that the state, which currently holds nearly 15% of Renault’s capital, would only have a stake of around 7.5% after a merger with Fiat. He did not want to increase it.

“What guarantees the jobs, the industrial sites, the development of Renault in the future? It is not the presence of the state in capital, it is the ability to invest in new technologies, “he said.

According to Bruno Le Maire, this possible merger is “a great opportunity for Renault and for the European car industry”.

“The companies that will survive will be those that will have the ability to invest heavily in the autonomous vehicle, in the connected vehicle and in the electric vehicle,” he said.

“This merger plan should enable Renault and Fiat to make these investments and be among the most efficient car manufacturers,” added Bruno Le Maire.

The Italian-American manufacturer Fiat Chrysler (FCA) said Monday that the merger would not lead to any closure of production sites. In total, 8.7 million vehicles would be sold each year by the merged group, which would be ranked third in the world car manufacturers’ list in terms of annual production.

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