PARIS, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co Ltd plans to build its next hatchback model at one of alliance partner Renault SA’s French factories, Les Echos newspaper reported on its website on Thursday.
Renault and Nissan Europe declined to confirm the report, which said the new car would be made from 2014 at Renault’s Flins or Douai site, and destined for sale across Europe.
Nissan would produce 80,000 of the cars, which have not yet been given a name, per year, Les Echos said, adding that an announcement could come as early as next week.
Renault told unions in talks earlier this week that it could produce an extra 80,000 vehicles a year at its domestic factories for partners Nissan or Daimler AG if workers agreed to a new labour deal.
Renault’s domestic plants are among the worst-affected by car industry overcapacity, which has swollen as many European countries have gone into recession.
The Flins site currently produces the new Clio and the Zoe electric vehicle. The Douai plant, meanwhile, is suffering from the decline in sales of Renault’s Scenic model but is due to receive the carmaker’s future mid and high-end ranges.
This would be the first time that Nissan produced cars on French soil, although it already builds vans there.
The French government, Renault’s biggest shareholder, which holds a 15 percent stake, has said it wants Renault to support domestic employment by building cars for Nissan, its 43.4-owned Japanese affiliate.