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Report: Renault to Discontinue Clio Production in Slovenia

Paris, 13 January (STA) - French car maker Renault intends to discontinue the production of the second generation of its Clio supermini model in its Slovenian and Spanish subsidiaries, French press agency APA reported on Wednesday, quoting Renault chief operating officer Patrick Pelata.

According to APA, Pelata said after meeting meeting Minister of Industry Christian Estrosi today that "we have envisaged stopping the production of Clio in Spain and Slovenia".

The Clio II is also produced in Renault's French plant in Flins as well as in Argentina, Columbia and Mexico.

Revoz, which last year posted a record output of 212,680 cars, is also making the new generation of the Twingo city car.

Slovenian Economy Minister Matej Lahovnik said last May that Clio's future would largely depend on demand once incentives for new cars and similar crisis measures in Europe expire.

He added however that the plant would continue to operate in two shifts even if the production of Clio II is moved from Slovenia, explaining that this was a guarantee he got directly from Revoz.

Lahovnik statements came after Renault sparked alarm in Slovenia in March by deciding to move a part of production at Revoz to France. It turned out eventually that this was only a temporary relocation as Revoz alone could not catch up with the increasing demand encouraged by the incentives for new cars.

The Slovenian government decided last July to give a EUR 14.3m financial incentive to Revoz for a new Renault vehicle with the working name X33. The production is expected to be launched this year.

The planned annual output of the new model is 20,000, and the entire project is estimated at EUR 47.8m, Lahovnik said on the occasion.

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