Renault unions in France are angry about the automaker producing a new Dacia full-electric minicar in China and selling it in Europe, a clash that could become more common given how many companies have similar plans.
Labor groups are attacking Renault for exporting the Dacia Spring -- a model the automaker bills as Europe's cheapest electric vehicle -- to Europe from a plant in central China's Hubei province.
Workers have been on edge about a jobs-cutting plan the company announced just before it secured a state-backed loan in June.
"We are fundamentally opposed to making the Spring in China," said Frank Daoust, a spokesman for the CFDT union. "This isn't in keeping with government support for the car industry and jobs in France."
The complaints may become more common.
Automakers are planning a wave of similar exports, many of them EVs. The models include BMW's iX3, which recently started production in Shenyang and Tesla's Model 3 built near Shanghai.
Several brands plan to base the manufacturing of their entire lineups in China, including Daimler's Smart and Volvo Car's Polestar and Lynk & CO, all three of which are jointly owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.