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May 28, 2020

Michelin lauds EUR8bn France support initiative

Michelin has welcomed State backing for the automotive industry in France after President Emmanuel Macron unveiled his ambitious EUR8bn (US$8.8bn) support plan.

By Rhodri Morgan

Michelin has welcomed State backing for the automotive industry in France after President Emmanuel Macron unveiled his ambitious EUR8bn (US$8.8bn) support plan.

Paris is to write the cheque in the form of investment, support and loans, designed to kick-start the transition to new energy solutions and encourage localisation in France.

“For the past 130 years, France has been and is now more than ever at the heart of Michelin’s strategy,” said Michelin Group CEO, Florent Menegaux. “The Group is helping to develop the job markets in the regions in which it operates.

“With 16 sites and 20,000 employees, France now represents the largest industrial base of any country in which Michelin operates. Although France accounts for less than 10% of the Group’s sales, the proportion of investments in France is double that. The Group’s investment strategy in France is designed to improve industrial competitiveness and develop growth segments.

“Michelin is constantly changing and developing new activities in the country, such as its projects relating to hydrogen mobility, high-tech materials and metal additive manufacturing.”

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Michelin says it has initiated large-scale production of masks for the needs of the community and the Group; implementation of strict health protocols to protect employees and ensure a safe resumption of business, as well as measures to protect the Group’s cash flow.

“The risk of business failures over the coming months makes it necessary to implement a massive support plan for the industry,” added a Michelin statement. “Of course the Michelin Group supports this initiative, which will go some way to safeguarding know-how and jobs in France, while at the same time supporting the necessary changes in the sector.

“The future of the automotive industry in France rests on its ability to continue to innovate with regard to the major technological challenges of the ecological and digital transition: development of zero CO2 emission electric vehicles via battery and hydrogen technology, the design and industrialisation of new innovative materials helping to make vehicles lighter and, finally, connected cars that will pave the way for autonomous vehicles.”

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