Renault SA (RNO) says if President Francois Hollande wants more cars built in France, he needs to tackle the country’s high labor costs and rigid work rules.
France’s second-largest carmaker, which is based near Paris and 15 percent owned by the government, built fewer than a quarter of the 2.83 million cars that rolled off its assembly lines last year in France. With plants around the world, Renault makes its Clio hatchback in Turkey and is ramping up production at a new 1 billion-euro ($1.29 billion) factory in Morocco.
“Making the same Clio IV in France rather than in our Turkish plant is 1,300 euros more expensive and half of the gap is due to labor costs,” Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares said. “Within Renault, the French plants are the weakest. It’s not only a matter of cost, it’s a matter of flexibility.”
For Socialist President Hollande, confronting such grievances from French industry by introducing a more flexible workplace environment would put him at odds with his base among unions. At the same time, not addressing the competitiveness concerns of business leaders risks worsening an economic climate that is resulting in thousands of job cuts at companies from carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen and Air France-KLM to drug-maker Sanofi, driving unemployment to a 13-year high…
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Vivendi SA (VIV) and STMicroelectronics SA (STM), each considering a reorganization to boost their competitiveness, face a hurdle as French President Francois Hollande struggles to keep an election pledge on job creation. Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg is today hosting STMicroelectronics Chairman Didier Lombard at Bercy, the sprawling 1980’s government complex in eastern Paris. The meeting … Continue reading »
Taking as its starting point the programme and campaign of Nicolas Sarkozy in the presidential election of 2007 around the ‘value of work’, this article reviews and assesses the main reforms undertaken during the period of his presidency. It focuses on the reform of working time regulations through tax exoneration for overtime hours, minimum income … Continue reading »
French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi SA (SAN.FR, SNY) will disclose cuts of between 1,500 and 2,000 jobs in France on Sept. 25, French newspaper Le Figaro reported Saturday, without citing sources. The company plans to reduce its 28,000 payroll in France mainly through attrition, the newspaper said. In July, Sanofi had said it planned to cut … Continue reading »
France’s industry ministry is pressing the country’s leading carmaker to limit the impact of a domestic restructuring set to claim 8,000 jobs – by shifting part of the cuts burden to Spain. Arnaud Montebourg, industrial renewal minister, was expected to raise the issue in talks on Thursday with PSA Peugeot Citroen chief executive Philippe Varin … Continue reading »
Bank of France aiming to cut up to 2100 jobs in branches . . . http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/12/us-france-bankofrance-idUSBRE88B1DU20120912
France’s Socialist government may clinch a deal on labor reform by the end of this year but its cautious approach means the outcome may fall short of business leaders’ hopes for a “competitiveness shock” to revive the economy. President Francois Hollande wants a quick agreement that will help companies adjust more nimbly during economic downturns, … Continue reading »
Carrefour (CARR.PA: Quote), the world’s second-largest retailer, plans to cut up to 600 French jobs as its new boss slashes costs in a bid to turn the struggling company around, unions said on Wednesday. “The group told the various works councils that the plan is to cut 500-600 jobs,” Force Ouvriere union representative Michel Enguelz … Continue reading »
“France is doing badly. The French economy is doing badly,” Sapin admitted on Tuesday. “The worsening of the employment situation will be longlasting but not eternal,” he continued. July’s unemployment figures saw the 15th consecutive month-on-month rise, by 1.4 per cent to 2,987,100, the highest since June 1999. The year-on-year rise is 8.5 per cent. … Continue reading»
In its first estimate for the third quarter of 2012, the Bank of France said that the nation’s GDP was likely to fall by 0.1 percent in the three months to September, which was in stark contrast to the government’s optimistic forecast of 0.3 percent growth for the whole year. Additionally, France’s trade deficit remained … Continue reading »