Renault sees 500 mln euros in annual savings with union deal

PARIS, March 13 Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:47am EDT

PARIS, March 13 (Reuters) - The productivity deal Renault plans to sign on Wednesday with three unions should allow the French carmaker to save 500 million euros ($651 million) a year, its chief executive said in a interview published on Wednesday.

"And there are also indirect savings which are difficult to calculate," Carlos Ghosn told the French business daily Les Echos.

Ghosn said the three unions overall represented two employees out of three at the company.

"If there is strong support, it is because everybody understands that there was not a plan B for Renault in France," Ghosn said.

Separately, Renault Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares told the Wall Street Journal that the carmaker had decided to back away from a plan to produce a large luxury sedan in partnership with Germany's Daimler.

Instead, Renault will focus on revamping the upper end of its own product range, he told the newspaper.

After months of talks, Renault decided the plan with Daimler did not make business sense, he said.

"We have not found a business model that works," Tavares told the WSJ in a interview published on Wednesday.

($1 = 0.7680 euros) (Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by Mark Potter)

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