August 10, 2012 - 20:26 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - French automaker Renault said Friday, August 10 that a voluntary job cut plan at its South Korean unit Samsung Motors could affect up to 80 percent of its staff, or almost 4,700 workers, according to AFP.
The programme "concerns all salaried staff at Renault Samsung Motors except for the 1,000 in research and development, and design," a spokeswoman said.
She added that the company employed 5,667 people at the end of 2011.
Workers would be let go "on a voluntary basis, with severance pay of up to two years pay depending on seniority," the spokeswoman said.
Renault had said earlier in the day in South Korea that it would offer some Samsung staff voluntary retirement owing to sluggish sales, but did not say how many might be affected.
In the seven months to July, Renault Samsung Motor's sales fell by an annualised 34 percent to 93,919 vehicles. Analysts cited a lack of new models and stiff competition from South Korea's dominant Hyundai-Kia group.
Employees who agree to leave are also to get two years of education fees for children and other allowances.
Renault Samsung has been shutting down its sole plant for several days a month since December. The site in the southern port of Busan has an annual production capacity of 300,000 vehicles.
In July, the Renault-Nissan Alliance promised to invest $160 million to build Nissan models at the Busan plant from 2014.
The factory is expected to turn out around 180,000 autos this year.