Renault announced it will hire 1,300 workers at its four plants in Spain after reaching a new deal with local unions.
The announcement shows the relative strength of Spain’s auto industry at a time of layoffs in other parts of Europe. Renault presented its 2014-2016 industrial plan during a visit to its Palencia plant in northwestern Spain by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who described the automaker’s move as a result of the tough decisions made by his government to improve labor laws.
“Renault is providing evidence that Spain is a safe bet, since our country has a positive environment to ensure that investments will receive their corresponding returns,” Mariano Rajoy said in a speech which was broadcast live by Spanish television.
Renault already employs around 10,000 people in Spain and is one of 10 foreign carmakers with plants in the country. Spain has been among the world’s leading car producers for decades and is now in a good position thanks to the flexibility of the auto unions, which have accepted stricter working conditions in exchange for automakers keeping or increasing output in the country.
The new deal between the unions and Renault will allow the French carmaker to increase output in Spain by 40 percent to 280,000 units a year.