France’s Finance Minister has announced plans to subsidise purchases and save the country’s carmakers
FRENCH Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said today that the government is preparing a package of measures to save automakers stung by the coronavirus crisis, including subsidies to encourage purchases of electric vehicles,
“I will announce a plan within two weeks… to relaunch car buying as well as the industry’s transition to a more sustainable model,” Le Maire told France Info radio.
“That means supporting purchases of clean cars. We need to use this crisis as a lever for accelerating our environment transition and to encourage the French to buy cars that today are still too expensive,” he said.
French automakers Renault and PSA, whose brands include Peugeot, Citroen and Opel, are suffering due to factory and dealership closures that sent French auto sales plunging 89 per cent in April from the year earlier.
Renault had already been struggling to recover from the management crisis following the loss of Carlos Ghosn last year after his arrest in Japan on financial misconduct charges.
The French state is already preparing a €5 billion emergency loan for Renault, which has announced a plan to cut spending by €2 billion that could include site closures and the phase-out of several older models.
Like other European carmakers, Renault and PSA are also racing to shift to electric vehicles as authorities worldwide sharply reduce emission limits.