BELGIUM: FIEV urges France to go local as competitiveness soars top of agenda
French supplier body, FIEV, is cautioning competitiveness is becoming a "real issue" for the country as the debate surrounding the so-called 'delocalisation' process heats up.
France's automotive industry is having to confront some serious over-capacity and performance issues - particularly from an OEM standpoint - with the country's two big beasts of the jungle - PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault - calling for a radical reshaping of their business models with resultant union unease.
"What is important is there is a kind of shift to a sensitivity in terms of competitiveness," FIEV vice president operating officer, Arnaud de David-Beauregard, told just-auto at this week's CLEPA Aftermarket Conference in Brussels.
"Competitiveness is a real issue for the French economy. We need to do something in terms of cost and in terms of social protection, which is a huge burden. We need to do something about public employment, which somebody has to face.
"We have [been] helping and supporting on the practical side and the necessity to go international - to develop exports - to develop localistion outside France."
French firms moving parts of their operations outside the Metropole have long irritated the country's powerful unions, but there appears to be a head of steam building from business that is eyeing eroding margins and high European costs with increasing alarm.
But FIEV has taken a robustly positive view of companies such as Renault in Morocco for example as a way forward.
"We are delivering the message - please do that," said David-Beauregard. "We have a significant number of suppliers who have been to Morocco and are develop [ing] there, we have a close connection with them."
FIEV's view is sure to exercise union minds already spooked by the announcement of large-scale job losses at PSA and Renault's wish to implement radical restructuring on its home turf.
Into the fray has also stepped the French government, which has taken a keen interest in the automotive sector since its recent election, but whose pronouncements have left some in the industry baffled.
Only this week, French Economics Redevelopment Minister, Arnaud Montebourg, has been engaged in a furious war of words with Indian steel operator, Mittal, leading London Mayor, Boris Johnson, to echo FIEV's localisation comments and encouraging French businesses to relocate to the UK.
Vehicle assembly in Colombia began in 1956 when the government signed an agreement to build Austin trucks locally. Colombian entrepreneurs soon saw the opportunity to invest in technology to be part o...
What are Opel's 3,000 odd workers at its Bochum plant in the heavily-industrialised region of North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) thinking today?...
The media days for the 2013 Frankfurt Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) are 10 & 11 September. Each of the following vehicles is a world premiere at the show....
PSA Peugeot-Citroen is stressing there will be no job losses in plans to close and move its administrative and research site near Paris....
PSA Peugeot Citroen plans to close a research and administrative site near Paris as part of its cost-cutting plans, according to Reuters....
Continental has developed a new Multimedia Radio Navigation (MRN) System for the PSA Peugeot Citroën Group in China....
Deliveries from the Volvo group's truck operations in April 2013 amounted to 16,572 vehicles. This was a decrease of 2% compared with the year-earlier month....
- PLDB Future Models - LA & Guangzhou shows insights
- THE WEEK THAT WAS: All eyes on Vienna
- ANALYSIS: Opel-Vauxhall and Buick's shared future
- VEHICLE ANALYSIS: Lexus NX 300h
- THE WEEK THAT WAS: Lexus concedes to Germany
- BELGIUM: Jaguar overtaken by Lexus across Europe
- GUANGZHOU DEBUTS: 'Chery Land Rover' Evoque
- Jaguar Land Rover to recall vehicles over TPMS
- 2014 LA SHOW: World debuts list [final version]
- JLR announces new connectivity platform/app