At a time when successive crises and a fragile geopolitical context are challenging the global balance of power, industrial relocation and production tool mastery have become, more than ever, key issues. In France, reindustrialisation has begun thanks to French companies being aware of these issues and significant mobilisation of the State and local authorities, such as regional councils. Below, four recent examples of relocation in Atlantic France are detailed.
Red Electric relocates its scooter production to Le Mans
The French leader in electric scooters from Nancy, Red Electric, which until now had its scooters manufactured in China, has chosen Atlantic France as the place to relocate its production site to. Red Electric has in fact chosen Chastagner, an industrial company from Sarthe and a solid player in the market that already works for the aeronautics and automotive sectors, as the establishment which will produce nearly 10,000 units per year for the brand. This equipment manufacturer has reserved a 4,000 sqm factory in Le Mans for this purpose, and some of the 140 employees will be dedicated to the production of Red Electric products.
“There will be further recruitments“, assures Bertrand de La Tour d’Auvergne, Deputy CEO of Red Electric. “We are reviewing our entire supply chain for it to be made as short as possible because, in our opinion, a French manufacturer should only produce in France. The electric scooter market, which is getting going following electric bikes and electric kick scooters, is at the dawn of a considerable boom linked to the modal shift coming from the automobile.” In Le Mans, the new line of Model E maxi-scooters will be manufactured, with a range of up to 300 km.
Delicious doughnuts produced in Sarthe
Vlad Lenard, owner of 8 franchised fast food establishments, has just created a new company, called Delicious, so that all of the doughnuts, which were until recently produced in Romania, will be locally produced for his shops. A production workshop has opened in Grand-Lucé, south-east of Le Mans, where there are currently 3 employees, who will soon be joined by 2 others to ensure the daily production of 10,000 pastries.
“With the desired growth of our franchise, an expansion of our production site has already been planned to take place within 3 years,” says Vlad Lenard. “In the current premises, we cannot increase our production to more than 15,000 doughnuts per day because of the lack of storage capacity and space for employees. So we have had to start thinking about solutions.” This is a necessity for the Delicious workshop, which is beginning to develop its activity locally with small and medium-sized retail outlets.
ASled reindustrialises its LED lighting production in Cholet
From October 2022, a company specialising in LED lighting, ASled, will relocate the manufacturing of some of its lights, which were imported from China until recently. The company, which has moved to new premises in Cholet, has raised €1.6 million in funding and has brought in the regional council co-investment fund, Pays de la Loire Participations. The goal? To support the relocation of its industrial facilities and guarantee investments are made.
For the co-managers, Emmanuelle and Gautier Renoux, the cost of relocating from China to France is not an obstacle. “The cost of pure production is lower in China, however, there is the added cost of transport which has exploded in recent years. Companies also have a corporate responsibility in the face of a global effort that is required of us.” Within the next 3 years, Asled has already planned to invest in new machines and strengthen its commercial action. Three people have already been recruited, and four or five more will join soon.
Toyota is relocating the production of an industrial truck to Ancenis
Toyota Material Handling Manufacturing France is investing €8 million in its Ancenis plant. The objective is to produce 900 forklifts there per year, rather than in China. This relocation of the production was planned before the Covid pandemic and will allow the industrial company to reduce its carbon footprint, but also its delivery times which will drop from 6 to 3 months. Around 45 people dedicated to the manufacturing of these new trucks will be recruited.