Car industry: Peugeot-Citroen: “Made in France” under strain
13 July 2012
Le Figaro, Libération
The restructuring plan of PSA (Peugeot-Citroen), France’s foremost car manufacturer, is “no coincidence”, leads the editorial in Le Figaro. Yesterday PSA announced the cutting of 8,000 jobs in France and the closure of its factory in Aulnay-sous-Bois, near Paris.
The conservative daily takes this to be a “formidable trial of initiation” for the socialist government and analyses the causes of this “social catastrophe” –
What's wrong with the car manufacturer? First and foremost, it suffers from being too European and, above all, from being too French. Here is the paradox: held up as an example for having kept nearly half its production in France, unlike Renault, which survives thanks to its low-cost models built in Romania and Morocco, PSA is suffering from the evils that are methodically destroying our industry.
The leftist daily Libération in turn raises the role that Europe has played in this “fiasco” –
Europe bears some of the responsibility for flagging French fortunes. By pushing free trade, it opened the market to the Koreans; the latter have profited from it immensely, while European sales in Korea are a secret (...). Europe has also had a hand in financing new plants built in Eastern Europe, which have left the French factories in a hard place. But awareness is dawning. The European Cars 21 report published in June recommends that open markets become strictly reciprocal to ’maintain a strong industrial base.’