Coronavirus: France announces €8bn rescue plan for car industry

French president Emmanuel Macron visiting the Valeo car factory in Etaples on TuesdaySymbol copyright
AFP /Getty Photographs

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President Emmanuel Macron introduced a rescue plan for the French automotive trade throughout a seek advice from to the Valeo automotive manufacturing facility in Etaples on Tuesday

The French executive has introduced an €8bn (£7.1bn) rescue plan for its automotive trade, which has been critically impacted by way of the coronavirus pandemic.

President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal contains €1bn to offer grants of as much as €7,000 to inspire voters to buy electrical automobiles.

It additionally places cash towards investments to make France a centre for electrical car output.

The plan comes because the trade braces for hundreds of process cuts.

In go back for the relaxation, the 2 primary French automotive manufacturers Renault and PSA have promised to center of attention manufacturing in France.

“We want a motivational purpose – make France Europe’s best manufacturer of unpolluted automobiles by way of bringing output to a couple of million electrical and hybrid vehicles in line with 12 months over the following 5 years,” President Macron informed journalists at a press convention on the Valeo automotive manufacturing facility in Etaples, northern France on Tuesday.

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He added that no automotive type lately produced in France must be manufactured in different international locations.

To lend a hand promote the 400,000 automobiles languishing in automotive dealerships because of the coronavirus lockdown measures, President Macron mentioned the federal government would additionally give folks upgrading to a much less polluting automotive a €three,000 bonus, as a part of a scheme open to 75% of French families.

“Our fellow voters want to purchase extra automobiles, and particularly blank ones. No longer in two, 5 or 10 years – now,” he stressed out.

Like in different international locations, France’s automotive trade has floor to a halt – with an 80 % fall in gross sales and a backlog of just about part 1,000,000 new automobiles looking forward to homeowners.

President Macron – in his new post-virus spend-and-invest mode – needs to behave no longer simply to rescue the trade from the fast disaster, but in addition to organize it for a long run that can be each electrical and he hopes a lot much less depending on international and particularly Chinese language providers.

To spice up call for now, the grants for families or firms that purchase new electrical vehicles are larger, as is the so-called conversion bonus for buying and selling in a polluting automotive for a cleaner one.

The collection of battery charge-points can be tripled to 100,000 by way of the tip of subsequent 12 months.

A thousand million euros in funding can be directed into analysis and modernising manufacturing, and there will be a €5bn mortgage for Renault – a part of the go back for which is a promise by way of Renault to sign up for a Franco-German consortium to increase automotive batteries.

The purpose, Mr Macron mentioned, is to have a million electrical vehicles being made in France once a year by way of 2025.

In step with IHS Markit, France was once Europe’s best manufacturer of electrical and hybrid vehicles in 2019, with nearly 240,000 automobiles, however Germany is ready to overhaul it by way of the tip of this 12 months.

Manufacturing facility closures

The €8bn plan does now not come with an anticipated €5bn mortgage for embattled French carmaker Renault, which in February reported its first annual loss in a decade.

The corporate has been making plans to unveil a large restructuring plan on 29 Might that was once reportedly prone to see it shut 3 factories in Choisy-le-Roi, Dieppe and Caudan. A fourth manufacturing facility, Flins, can be transformed into an electrical battery manufacturing facility.

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AFP / Getty Photographs

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Renault staff protesting out of doors the Fonderie de Bretagne manufacturing facility close to Lorient on Monday

Mr Macron mentioned on Tuesday that Renault had agreed to sign up for a Franco-German undertaking to supply electrical batteries for the rechargeable auto trade, a step the federal government had set as a situation for the mortgage.

However Mr Macron mentioned the federal government would now not log out at the deal till Renault’s control and unions had concluded talks over the carmaker’s French personnel and vegetation in France.

Mr Macron handiest assured the long run for staff of Renault’s factories in Mauberge and Douai, then again. And French day-to-day nationwide newspaper Le Figaro reported solely on Tuesday that Renault is making plans to chop five,000 jobs by way of 2024.

The 370 staff that paintings on the Fonderie de Bretagne, close to Lorient in north-western France, are involved that the carmaker intends to near the manufacturing facility.

They’ve been protesting since Monday, blocking the manufacturing facility, and informed French nationwide radio community Europe 1 that they intend to march at the streets of Lorient on Wednesday.

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