French President Macron unveils new measures to save the French auto industry in the midst of the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic
French President Emmanuel Macron is due to unveil new measures today (Tuesday) to save the country’s struggling auto industry, which has been hammered by the virus and the ensuing economic recession.
Macron tweeted that government support for the domestic auto industry, which includes brands like Peugeot-Citroën and Renault as well as parts suppliers, will “massively” increase.
The President met this morning with car manufacturers and unions at the Presidential Palace of the Elysée Palace. He will also visit supplier Valeo, which manufactures equipment for electric cars, at its Etaples plant in northern France, from where he will detail the rescue plan.
The question is politically sensitive because France is proud of its automobile industry, which employs 400,000 people in the country and constitutes a large part of its manufacturing sector. The government wants automakers to develop innovative products in France and maintain employment in the country.
Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Monday that automakers must commit to bringing manufacturing back to France in exchange for support measures.
The aid should include government subsidies for consumers to buy a battery-powered car and other incentives for people to abandon their old cars and buy a low-emission model.
Auto sales in France were down about 90% in April from the previous year, as showrooms were closed and factories stopped production.
The industry support plan comes at a crucial time for automaker Renault, which has entered the virus crisis in dire straits.
The mayor said on Monday that his survival was at stake and that the government would not require Renault to keep all its jobs and its French facilities in exchange for rescue funds, in order to allow the company to adapt to the situation. economic.
The PSA group, which manufactures Peugeot and Citroën cars, has entered the current crisis in better shape, after years of cutting costs under the leadership of Carlos Tavares, as the industry struggles with the transition to electric vehicles and driverless.