LJUBLJANA (Reuters) – French carmaker Renault <RENA.PA> plans to cut about 400 out of some 3,200 jobs at its Slovenian unit Revoz after the coronavirus epidemic hit demand for its products, Revoz said on Tuesday.
Revoz produces the Clio, Twingo and electric Smart Forfour models. Its biggest markets include France, Germany and Italy.
“Due to uncertain conditions on the global car market, which are a consequence of the Covid-19 epidemic … and information on a fall of global orders … Revoz will continue its production in two shifts,” it said in a statement in response to a Reuters query.
“In cooperation with agencies and the Slovenian Employment Service Revoz will organise consulting meetings for all workers who will stop working in the company (a bit more than 400 persons according to present estimates),” it said.
Last month the company had said it expected to restart its third daily shift this month.
Revoz suspended production in the middle of March for six weeks due to the coronavirus epidemic. Slovenia has so far reported 1,467 coronavirus cases and 104 deaths.
The country last week became the first European state to call an end to its coronavirus epidemic but citizens are still obliged to wear face masks in indoor public spaces, disinfect hands upon entering such spaces and keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres from each other.
The government expects GDP to fall by at least 8% this year due to the epidemic and its consequences. Last year the export-oriented economy expanded by 2.4%.
(Reporting By Marja Novak; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)