Swedish Artist Lars Vilks, who created a storm back in 2007 for sketching a picture of Prophet Muhammad’s head on a dog’s body, has died in a recent traffic accident.
Vilks, who was provided police protection to safeguard him against possible threats, died in a car collision near the southern Swedish town of Markaryd. Investigators have revealed that they suspect no signs of foul play as part of the initial investigations related to the accident.
A statement from police said it was still unclear how the collision occurred, but initially, there was nothing to suggest that anyone else was involved.
“This is being investigated like any other road accident. Because two policemen were involved, an investigation has been assigned to a special section of the prosecutor’s office,” a police spokesperson told news agency AFP, adding that there was no suspicion of foul play.
“We don’t know yet the reason why the bodyguard car was on the wrong side of the road,” he said. “But we’re talking to witnesses; we have found remnants of tires on the E4 road before the accident so we’re looking into the possibility that it could have been a tire explosion or something similar.”
YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8s97exUaFE
A police car in the Northern French city of Roubaix crashed into a parked car as a policeman within the car fired a taser in the direction of the driver. The police car then left the scene of the accident without stopping for inspection.
While there were no reports of injury or physical harm, prosecutors have taken the police personnel on board to court for their apparent misconduct and lack of proper safety.
Maître Emmanuel Riglaire, a lawyer for the police officer who fired the Taser, told France Bleu Nord that the atmosphere was “good-natured” because “they’re friends who get on well.”
“They’re having fun amongst themselves and act like idiots,” Mr. Riglaire said.
The lawyer said his client wanted to give her colleague – the driver – “a light Taser,” and they ended up hitting a parked car. The incident was reported to the police by a nearby resident who witnessed it live. The officer who used the Taser has been charged for intentional violence and could face a prison sentence for the misdemeanor.
The other police colleagues in the vehicle have been charged with abetting a hit and run and will face similar charges as a hit and run.
YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiFa41q_HHE
Sales in the French car market slumped by a massive 35 percent as a semiconductor shortage curbed inventories in one of the biggest markets in Europe. French car manufacturers had limited access to semiconductor chips, which are an integral part of electronic cars.
French manufacturers recorded some 115,713 passenger cars sold during the month of July, as per reports from Plateforme Automobile. While the sales show an increase of some 16 percent from where they were during the same time last year, because of the first wave of the pandemic, they have also witnessed a decrease of 35 percent from the full capacity sales of 2019.
The sluggish results are also an indication that recovery for auto manufacturers is slow within Europe compared to the trends seen in the United States and China. A recent report from The European Automobile Manufacturers Association showed that over 2 million fewer cars were sold within the region during the first half of this year than during the same period 2 years ago.
The recovery itself is slow due to restricted customer interest, but supply chain hassles, like the global chip shortage of today, have restricted sales to a certain level.
YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tl3GegKr_xw
French car maker and renowned global automotive brand Renault mentioned that it is looking to combine manufacturing plants for possible cost savings. In a statement released recently, the car manufacturer showed interest in combining three electric car manufacturing plants in Northern France to form a conglomerate, which will save production costs and churn out more than 400,000 auto vehicles each year by 2025.
Renault also mentioned that the single electric vehicle plant, which will be called Renault ElectriCity would help create 700 new jobs across the three plants, which already employ 5,000 people when combined.
The company is facing a stiff challenge in the electric car market, with rival Volkswagen catching up in the market. Changes such as these “will contribute to reaching the necessary competitiveness to produce B segment cars in France“, the plant manager said, referring to smaller passenger vehicles, which are popular in France.
Renault, which has been operating under a loss recently, is looking to not only slash costs but also reduce its workforce under new CEO De Meo. The car manufacturer is looking to shift attention towards the electric car market and open new revenue streams and cost savings here.
YouTube Link; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvyDiWSUk8A
Police officials in the city of Paris, France, have fined almost 4,000 drivers for not respecting the traffic curb set by the city administration. The city of Paris enforced the deadliest traffic curb in over 20 years recently and fined all city drivers that tried to dodge the police.
Transport chiefs made transport free for users and hosted a plan to limit cars with even-numbered plates. Around mid-morning, French media outlets reported that some 700 police officers around different areas of the city had fined around3,859 people for failing to respect the recent curb.
A long list of exemptions was allowed in the ban to exempt delivery drivers, taxis and cars with at least 3 people in them. The government has hailed the move as a success and a revolution in the world of French cars.
“This is a public health problem … we thank everyone who fell into line,” Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier said.
“Most of the road users understand well that this operation has a direct impact on curbing pollution,” said police officer Jean-Pierre Meutelet at Porte Maillot on the northwestern edge of Paris.
More bans of such nature are in line to be implemented soon to put a curb on city traffic and pollution.
YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqMu_W-wA0s
French cars have long been making news across the globe for their innovation and superiority in design. Another French carmaker, Citroen has decided to amp its manufacturing process by jumping into the vast Indian market with a 29.9 lakh Aircross SUV modeled. The model is valued at 2.9 million Indian Rupees and fits the general space requirements of Indian families.
“We are not running away from brick and mortar dealerships,” said Saurabh Vatsa, senior director (marketing and corporate communications) at Citroën India.
“We chose to enter the market with C5—the premium flagship model of Citroën as it’s a new brand for Indian consumers and it’s important that they see the best from the company to establish the credentials of the brand,” he said.
“Instead of bringing a low trim, low cost model, Citroën has chosen to bring the top of the line model. The top down strategy bodes for India and will help the company establish the brand,” mentioned an Indian market analyst. A high focus on digital play will facilitate a low cost structure.
The Indian market is ready for growth potential and French car manufacturers can reap rewards by jumping into it.
YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX5cUBSp-7U
New car registrations in France for the month of March 2021 reported an almost 200 percent increase as the figures were hit by the pandemic during the corresponding months last year.
France’s CCFA association of carmakers released a statement prompting the press that car registrations were marked at 182,775 for the last month. This figure is lower than the average of 210,000 cars usually registered in March, but was many times more than what was seen last year.
Overall, the French car market saw a 21.1% increase in registrations for this quarter, a massive improvement from the first quarter of 2020.
Last year in March, French Car Manufacturers PSA reported that their car registrations fell by a massive 73.43%. This is a record fall and is a severe shock to embittered manufacturers.
PSA is responsible for making cars for the Peugeot and Citroen brands. Additionally, Renault also reported a 71.6 percent drop in their registered vehicles. This total drop will harm the economy as consumers have literally altered their spending patterns.
Whether the world ever comes out of the COVID-19 pandemic is yet to be seen, but what we do know is that the French Car industry is on its way to revival.
YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUBL2IlORFU
The French car market is still rallying from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic impact that has resulted because of it. The market demand has still not gone to pre-COVID levels as car sales for the month of February in 2021 were still over 20 percent short than what they were during the same period last year.
With 132,637 registrations, against an average of 160,000 in recent years, the drop in the number of orders is significant.
With 132,637 registrations against an average of 160,000 in recent years, “the drop in orders in the second half of 2020 is being felt as well as the start of the semiconductor shortage for the automotive sector,” indicated the committee of the constructors (CCFA). New car sales in France fell 20.95% year on year in February, the CCFA said in a statement.
«The French keep their savings and postpone their heavy purchases» Explained François Roudier of the CCFA.
As several groups have also announced, “we expect a rather bad first quarter, a not very good first semester, and a re-launch in the second semester”, emphasized François Roudier.
The drop is spectacular for the sale of second hand vehicles with a drop of 42% (31,637 registrations). “This is explained in particular by the current tension that exists in the networks of professionals on recent used vehicles” emphasizes AAA Data.
YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRq6IA0Cno8
The top auto markets in Europe posted their biggest annual decline in decades, due to the ongoing restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus. Car sales have hit rock bottom as economic downturns and social restrictions have taken demand to an all-time low.
Registrations fell by a whopping 25 percent across the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain during the last year. These are 5 of the largest car-buying countries in Europe, and the steep decline has given marketers quite a lot to think about.
The resurgence of COVID-19 in Europe through a fresh new wave has meant that countries now have to impose new lockdown measures. These ongoing weaknesses in demand now pose a heavy risk to the manufacturing sector and the demand from masses.
“We are in a deep crisis,” Pierre-Louis Debar, head of statistics for French car-industry group CCFA, said during an interview. “It’s more extensive than anything we have seen in the past.”
The French car market has also gone down with a decrease of almost 30 percent in vehicles registered during 2020. The second half of 2020 did see a recovery though, after the country reported an almost 90 percent drop in vehicles registered during March, after the early onset of the pandemic.
YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRpkswfgPY4
December of 2020 was a busy month for French Police in Versailles as they started a crackdown against French Car smugglers operating from the city. The smugglers were known to be from an African background and had deep connections in the area around the city.
The probe surrounding the illegal activities began back in June when police uncovered a shipping container with three stolen cars from a small village located west of the city of Paris. Following the footprints from the probe, the highly organized operation ended up sniffing up the smugglers in their act.
The smugglers operated mostly at night when they would steal cars and then ship them over to African countries in an undocumented manner. The suspects were all aged between 20 and 35 years.
“First they would break into the car, plug a computer into the on-board diagnostic port and use software to reprogram the vehicle to accept a new key. They would then pay someone 50 Euros ($60) to pick up the car and park it on the street with a new registration plate for days or even weeks. Once the car was no longer deemed “traceable” it would be shipped in a container to Africa,” noted AFP.
Investigators and police officials have officially linked 30 stolen vehicles, especially SUVs with this gang.
YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4oLbr-DqIM