France: Macron to support car industry with 8bn euros

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French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday promised more than 8 billion euros (8.8 billion dollars) to boost the country’s automobile industry, hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

In return, carmakers Renault and PSA – which makes Peugeot, Citroen, DS and Opel cars – had promised to maintain production on French soil and move higher-value activities back from overseas, Macron said.

The announcements came days before Renault is due to announce a 2-billion-euro cost-cutting plan.

The carmaker has not commented on media reports that it plans to shutter four factories in France.

The auto industry worldwide is reeling from the impact of coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions, with new car sales down more than 75 per cent year-on-year in the European Union in April.

In France, 250,000 employees in the sector are on state-funded temporary lay-off and the industry has 400,000 unsold vehicles on hand, Macron said.

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Source: News Agency of Nigeria