By on January 9, 2011

The alleged Renault spy case is getting curiouser and curiouser. Renault is in full reverse. Renault CEO Patrick Pelata said information may have been leaked about the costs and economic model of the program, but all technical secrets are safe. “Not the smallest nugget of technical or strategic information on the innovation plan has filtered out of the enterprise.” So what, they are missing a spreadsheet?

“It’s serious, but not as bad as if it had been the technology,” Pelata said. “Whether it’s the chemistry of the electrodes, the structure of the batteries, the different elements of assembling, be it the charger or the engine itself, we feel ok.”

The electric program was on schedule: “We have not lost one day to launch our four electric cars, said Pelata.

Thibault de Montbrial, a lawyer for Matthieu Tenenbaum, deputy head of Renault’s electric-vehicle program and one of the three suspended employees, called the affair “surreal,” Reuters reports. “My client is now portrayed as an international spy when so far he still doesn’t have any material information explaining why Renault is accusing him.”

Industry Minister Eric Besson, who had called the case “economic warfare” played down the Chinese link. Besson says he cannot not confirm anything for now: “At this stage, I can’t say whether Chinese interests were involved. Only a full investigation could tell.”

Even the DCRI (internal intelligence service) involvement is not as clear-cut as it sounded a few days ago. “Renault will press charges and then the DCRI (internal intelligence service) will in all likelihood be asked to investigate,” Besson told Europe 1 radio. “At that point we will know a lot more on the backers, beneficiaries, etc.”

At least we learn now that France has a “School of Economic Warfare which trains students in corporate intelligence,” Reuters says.

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6 Comments on “Renault Spy Scandal: Everybody In Full Reverse...”

  • avatar

    The backpedalling is not really so surprising.  Accuse the Chinese of being involved and you risk your supply of rare earth materials!

  • avatar
    Telegraph Road

    I can’t say this often enough–whoever does the graphics for TTAC deserves a raise, Bertel and Ed.   He or she is brilliant!
    Yes– I know I am persona non grata on this site, but please give him or her a raise.

    • 0 avatar
      A is A

      The graphic is from a comic dating from the 1960s.
      It is called “Spy Vs. Spy”.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Actually it looks like the cover of the “Spy vs Spy” video game for the old NES system.
      Whoops nope it’s a fan’s photoshop of what they think should have been made for the PS2.
      Man I used to be such a Mad Magazine fan.

  • avatar

    The French have technology worth stealing?

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