Reports about the imminent death of several French car brands Renault, Citroën and Peugeot are multiplying in recent days after figures show that car sales have fallen dramatically in the country.
President Macron had to reassure companies like Renault, Peugeot and Citroën that they could count on state support. In turn, the government demands that the factories they are saving remain in France.
French car industry needs rescuing
President Macron presented a very ambitious rescue plan for the French auto industry, which is struggling with the corona crisis. But he also outlined another requirement: “Factories must remain in France.”
Hi Prime Minister Édouard Philippe also repeated this demand, stating : “It is a requirement for us that factories in France remain open. Renault may be a multinational, but it is still a French car brand.”
Even Minister of Economic Affairs Bruno Le Maire chimed in, stating : “Do we get the promise that electric cars will still be made in France?”
“We already have a plan for the tourism sector, the president is now coming up with a plan for the car sector and there will also be a plan for aviation in June,” minister Le Maire announced in the French newspaper Le Figaro.
According to sources around the Élysée, the government wants to preserve car factories in France and wants to invest in the competitiveness of the three major French brands.
Like many other sectors, the car industry has been hit hard by the corona crisis. In France this branch is a source of national price. With brands such as Peugeot, Citroën and Renault, the country has three world players . Some 400,000 French people work in the automotive industry and another 500,000 people in related companies such as suppliers and service providers. The annual turnover is about 155 billion euros per year.
Car sales collapsed by 89 percent in April alone. Research made by trade association CNPA shows that 30 percent of companies in the French car industry are in danger of bankruptcy. In total, about 40,000 to 50,000 jobs are at risk.
Currently, the stock of unsold cars in France has grown to 400,000 with a value of 10 billion euros.