French automaker Renault is planning to move the production of its Clio models from France to its Oyak-Renault plant in northwestern Turkey's Bursa, sources told Reuters Friday.
The plan to shift the production of the Clio model to Bursa is a politically sensitive issue in France. In 2010, Renault tried to shift all Clio production out of the country but had to leave this idea aside upon the opposition from its biggest shareholder, the French government.
The production of an electric car at the plant in France will mitigate the political impact of the decision, even though this time the production of the Clio is terminated. A sector source said that out of every 100 fifth-generation Clio, 94 will be produced in Bursa and Renault's Novo Mesto facility in Slovenia. The plant in Bursa has been producing fourth generation Clios since 2012. It is also the only producer of Clio station wagons and Megane sedans.
"The main factory to produce the new Clio will be Bursa, followed by Novo Mesto. Flins will complete the production if these two factories cannot meet the demand," another source said, adding that only 6 percent of Clio may be produced at the Flins factory, located west of Paris, and will only be valid for a few years when sales peak. A Renault spokesperson, however, said no final decision has been made about Clio's production plans.