French Auto Industry Set For Government Bailout

22 January 2009

PARIS: French automakers Renault, Peugeot and Citroën, along with suppliers and distributors to the nation's automotive industry, are set to benefit from a €6 billion (£5.5bn; €7.7bn) bail-out as the government seeks to protect 2.5 million jobs within the sector.

According to the French government's figures, the automotive industry indirectly employs around 10% of the country's labour force, and the funding is strictly conditional on keeping manufacturing plants open.

Says prime minister Francois Fillon: "There is no question of the state helping a manufacturer which would purely and simply decide to close one or more plants in France.

"In return, we expect exemplary commitments in terms of the quantity of cars produced in France and in terms of the chain of suppliers."

The plan must be approved by the European Commission, but Renault ceo Carlos Ghosn argues that the industry will collapse across the continent without governmental support.

Ghosn states the crisis facing auto makers is "brutal, global and of an exceptional size", and could ultimately be as bad as the "Depression of 1929".

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff