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Paris pressures Renault to produce new Clio in France, not Turkey

The French government is pressuring Renault, the country's second-biggest carmaker, to produce the new model of Clio 4 in France, in a bid to protect jobs in the face of biting economic environment. Renault is considering producing the car in Turkey.


REUTERS - The French government wants to prevent Renault, the country's second-biggest carmaker, from producing a new model abroad to safeguard jobs in France as an economic crisis and unemployment fan protectionism.

Christian Estrosi, Industry Minister and mayor of the Mediterranean coastal town of Nice, summoned Patrick Pelata, chief operating officer of Renault, to his offices on Wednesday as the group considers producing a new version of its Clio small car in Turkey.

The state has a 15.01 percent stake in Renault.

"No, we will not let the Clio 4 be produced in Turkey. This Renault will be made in France to be sold in France," Estrosi told parliament at question time.

"I say this in the name of the Prime Minister and the government -- when a French car is destined for the French market, it has to be made in France," he added.

Clio was the third-best selling car in France in 2009, after the Peugeot 207 and the Renault Megane.

Renault is leaning towards a site in Turkey to make the Clio 4, while Flins, a site for an older version of the car, would make the Zoe electric vehicle as well as electric batteries in 2012.

In a statement issued after the market close, Renault said it had not taken any decision on the matter and was still reviewing several scenarios for the Clio, though it added: "The competitiveness of a vehicle is a key element to ensure its commercial success"

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