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'Industrial espionage' threatens Renault

Business Materials 7 January 2011 07:56
The French gigantic carmaker Renault says the suspected industrial espionage against its business poses a serious threat to the company's assets, Press TV reported.
'Industrial espionage' threatens Renault

The French gigantic carmaker Renault says the suspected industrial espionage against its business poses a serious threat to the company's assets, Press TV reported.

A scandal over suspected industrial espionage at Renault deepened on Thursday as the French carmaker warned company assets were under serious threat.

Renault suspended three directors on Monday, including a member of its management committee, after an "ethical alert" was sent to the group's compliance committee in August.

Renault has been reticent over what information was given away, but French industry minister, Eric Besson, confirmed it must be doing with the flagship electric car project.

The leakage was a shock to Renault's technology headquarters, where about 1,000 engineers are seeking to develop electric car technology under strict veil of secrecy.

Renault thereby has launched the biggest industrial espionage investigation in its history, the Guardian reported.

"The investigation, which lasted several months, enabled us to identify a body of converging evidence demonstrating that three Group employees have committed misconduct that infringes Renault's ethics, consciously and deliberately endangering the company's assets," Christian Husson, general counsel and compliance officer of Renault, said in a statement.

The three executives, if found to have leaked information, could be dismissed in the coming days, said one source close to the company.

Commenting on the espionage, Besson added the country was facing an "economic war."

"Hundreds of thousands of French jobs depend on the motor trade," he said.

"The biggest advantage Western car makers have against rivals with lower labor costs elsewhere is their advanced technology. Hence the talk in France of an economic war," Besson stated.

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