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A Solution for Transnational Labour Regulation?

Company Internationalization and European Works Councils in the Automotive Sector

Axel Hauser-Ditz, Markus Hertwig, Ludger Pries and Luitpold Rampeltshammer

This book examines the role that European employee representatives play in the restructuring of firms. In a globalized economy, company internationalization and transnational restructuring are of growing concern for employees and trade unions. In the European Union, the still rather new institution of European works councils provides basic rights for employees. Using examples of eight large automotive manufacturers like Volkswagen, GM or Toyota, the volume analyzes the internationalization strategies of the companies and the effects of European works councils, pointing to a high degree of variation in strategies and effectiveness of cross-border employee representation.

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Chapter 7: Renault

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147 Chapter 7: Renault 7.1 The Renault Group Renault is an internationally-operating automotive group with its headquarters in Paris (Boulogne-Billancourt). The company was founded in 1898 under the name ‘Renault Frères’ by the two brothers, Louis and Marcel Renault. In 2008, the Renault group (Renault SA) included Nissan Motor (43.4 per cent), Renault s.a.s. (100 per cent) and Dacia (99.4 per cent). In turn, Renault s.a.s owned stakes in AB Volvo (20.7 per cent), Renault Samsung Motors (80.1 per cent), RCI Banque (100 per cent), and the Russian car manufacturer AvtoVAZ (25 per cent). In addition, there was a division en- compassing finance, sales and service companies (Renault Annual Report, 2008: A3).127 In 1999 Renault entered into an alliance with the Japanese manufacturer Nis- san.128 Renault and Nissan each have a 50 per cent shareholding in Renault-Nissan b.v., which mainly exercises strategic functions related to the alliance between the two companies (Freysennet, 2009b: 274). Renault-Nissan B.V. also includes Renault- Nissan-Purchasing Organisation (RNPO) and Renault-Nissan Information Service (RNIS). The aim of the Renault-Nissan Alliance is to identify and pursue synergies by developing common platforms and systems as well as combining purchasing activities (see too Schmid and Hartmann, 2007). Jointly developed vehicles on the ‘B’ and ‘C’ platforms use up to 85 per cent of common parts. RNPO accounts for 92 per cent of the purchasing volume of the group and 64 per cent of suppliers supply both Nissan and Renault (Renault, 2008: 17; Renault Annual Report, 2008: A17). With...

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