The three men were suspended Jan. 3, after an internal investigation that Renault said revealed espionage aimed at the secrets of its electric vehicle program.
While French officials have confirmed on background that investigators are following a lead related to China, they have publicly been at pains to say they are not accusing any particular country. The Chinese government has flatly denied any connection to the matter.
Renault and its Japanese affiliate Nissan are spending four billion euros to develop a full range of electric vehicles in a quest to establish industry leadership in the burgeoning technology. Patrick Pélata, Renault’s chief operating officer, said last week that some information on vehicle architecture, pricing and the business plan might have been leaked, but that no crucial technology had been passed outside the company.
Renault has suspended three executives for allegedly selling secrets about electric cars, such as its Kangoo. Renault files a complaint against persons unknown for acts constituting organized industrial espionage, corruption, breach of trust, theft and concealment.
Consistent with its earlier announcement, Renault has today filed a complaint against persons unknown for acts constituting organized industrial espionage, corruption, breach of trust, theft and concealment. The complaint follows the discovery of serious misconduct detrimental to the company and in particular to its strategic, technological and intellectual assets.
The complaint has been filed with the State Prosecutor of Paris, who may now call on the competent services to carry out an investigation. The matter is now in the hands of the judiciary.
To ensure that the judiciary procedure is carried out in the calmest possible conditions, Renault will not take part in any controversy and will reserve the items in its possession exclusively for the competent services responsible for the investigation.