Espionage threatened 'strategic assets': Renault

6th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Industrial espionage that targeted Renault posed a serious threat to the French carmaker's "strategic assets", the company said on Thursday.

Renault said on Wednesday that it had suspended three managers for leaking secrets about its electric cars.

This decision was to "protect, without delay, the strategic, intellectual and technological assets of our company," senior vice president Christian Husson told AFP.

"For Renault, this is a very serious incident concerning persons in a particularly strategic position in the company," he said.

A months-long probe had established a "body of evidence which shows that the actions of these three colleagues were contrary to the ethics of Renault and knowingly and deliberately placed at risk the company's assets," said Husson.

Renault has staked its future on electric cars as automakers face up to rising demand for more environmentally friendly methods of transport.

The suspensions were the latest in a series of industrial espionage scandals to hit France's huge and strategically important auto industry.

French Industry Minister Eric Besson warned on Thursday that the country was facing "economic war" in the light of the espionage at Renault.

© 2011 AFP

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