If you’re one of those lucky enough to be in France for the Paris Motor Show later this year, you might just notice a huge crowd swarming around the Renault stage, focusing on the new (and rather handsome) Samsung SM5-based Renault Latitude.

This huge crowd will not be people who love the car. On the contrary, these people hate the car and what it stands for – the import of a Renault product that’s not built in France into the continent. The Confédération Générale du Travail or CGT (English: General Confederation of Labour, a union) will be bringing in bus-loads of workers to demonstrate against Renault’s plan to import the Renault Latitude, as well as Renault’s perceived shift towards overseas production. I don’t blame them – Western European labour is expensive!

The Latitude is car based on the Renault Laguna, but looks quite different and costs less to make, both because of design and the fact that its built at a more affordable site. The Laguna isn’t doing that well in Europe compared to its Volkswagen and Vauxhall/Opel rivals. Renault’s market share in the mid-size car segment that the Laguna competes in have dropped by about half in the past 7 years – it now stands at 3.4% compared to 7.5% in 2003.

GALLERY: Renault Latitude
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GALLERY: Renault Samsung SM5
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