Renault is to increase production of its Twingo and Clio Campus models, the company announced today.
The move follows strong sales of both the Renault Twingo, which was the second best selling car in France in February, and the Clio Campus, a midly restyled version of the previous-generation Clio.
The decision will mean the creation of 400 jobs, as production of the Renault Clio Campus will switch from Renault’s Novo Mesto plant in Slovenia to the company’s Flins factory west of Paris.
The news was greeted with alarm by the EU's competition commissioner Neelie Croes, however. Croes told BBC Radio 4's World at One show that she was "highly surprised" at Renault's decision and that, if it meant the moving of jobs from Slovenia to France, it could contravene EU rules.
Both Renault and the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, denied that the news would mean job losses for Slovenia.
Renault said that it took the decision because the Novo Mesto plant was running at capacity, while Sarkozy said: "This is not about cutting jobs in Slovenia. It doesn't take a single job from our Slovenian friends and it increases jobs for Flins."
The excess capacity at Novo Mesto will allow Renault to increase production of the Twingo, while Flins will produce around 8000 Clio Campus models between June and October.