While the rest of the world celebrates New Year’s Eve with love and fireworks, the French seem to have found something that involves more fire: the torching of cars. This New Year’s Eve saw the torching of 1,031 cars, as compared to the figure of 935 from last year. What follows, almost every year, is a number of arrests of the people responsible. However, that appears to be doing nothing to curb the problem.
French president, Emmanuel Macron, denounced the actions by declaring them “cowardly” and stating that all of the culprits will be apprehended. Perhaps, it would be in the best interest of France if its President spent less time giving speeches and more time actually making an example out of people. This custom of torching cars on the New Year’s Eve began in 1990 and has been growing ever since. When you consider how this custom has survived for nearly three decades, you have got to say that it speaks millions of the inability of the French government when it comes to the protection of people’s lives and properties. It is tough being a car owner in France and it’s an irony that the country calls itself the heart of European culture!
WhatCar? recently crowned the Volvo XC40 as the Car of the Year for 2018, in addition to being the family SUV of the year. However, when you consider that the Volvo XC40 has got an engine that runs on diesel, you cannot help but doubt whether the judges were in the right frame of mind while making the call or not. It is because while the entire world is busy in making the transition from diesel and petrol powered engines to engines that run on alternative sources, WhatCar? has got the audacity to look past it all and make the controversial decision of pronouncing a diesel powered SUV as the best of the lot.
On top of that, the editor of WhatCar? insisted that the decision was made purely based on the merits of the car. If that’s a fact, then it’s saddening to see that WhatCar? has chosen to value the “merits of a diesel-powered car” over the “benefits to the environment”. What the decision of WhatCar? will do is that it will restart the surge of the consumers towards diesel powered engines, thus negating all of the work that the various environmentalists and governments had put into the promotion of alternative power sources. But then again…who cares for the future, right?
Renault has, recently, decided to re-launch its Alpine brand after a period of 20 years. The CEO of Renault had inaugurated the production line for the new A110, back in December, in a small coastal town in the northwest region of France, called Dieppe. Dieppe is among the poorest communities in the Normandy region, and the venture is bound to aid the living standards of the people there. Everything would have been perfect, however, if the spokespersons for Renault hadn’t resorted to lies as means for boasting their brand…yet again!
Renault claimed that its factory in Dieppe is the only one that’s building cars with aluminum bodies and chassis in the whole of Europe. The spokesperson had, perhaps, assumed the UK to not be a part of Europe, when making such a bold remark, owing to how JLR—a company based in the UK—has already been in the business of manufacturing cars with aluminum bodies and chassis. Either Renault needs an elementary lesson in geography to learn that the UK is one of the most powerful forces in Europe, or they need to build a car that can actually match up to the standard of JLR’s F-150, so that they don’t have to make audacious claims of greatness. It’s true, sadly, that everyone lies, whether it’s a person or a mere legal entity!
Gone are the days when racing companies and racers alike prided themselves upon going all in for victory. Don’t believe me? Well, take a look at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and decide for yourself. Renault’s races—Nico Hulkenburg—decided that it was worth it to not go for a win and to pragmatically secure the sixth place. Regardless how big of a mockery it makes out of the spirit of sportsmanship, it’s the manner in which the “sportsman” went about his business that has caused the uproar.
Early in the race, Hulkenburg decided to go off circuit to take the lead on Force India’s Sergio Perez. Most spectators would expect such an indecent maneuver to result into a strict action, but the organizers—for some bizarre reason—decided to hand out a five second penalty, which caused Renault to finish in the sixth position.
However, it’s when you consider what the result meant that you realize the gravity of the atrocity that had been committed. The result was good enough for Renault to go ahead of Toro Rosso in the Constructor’s Championship and take the sixth place. As a result, Renault will have more competitiveness (and more money) next year. If the competitions, nowadays, allow for achieving results through clear underhanded tactics, then the organizers should, at least, communicate to all of the participants, so that the competition is fair and the sport isn’t reduced to a mockery!
The announcement of the French government to ban the selling of petrol and diesel cars by 2040 might look good on paper to some; but when you consider the rapid shifting from conventional cars to electric cars in recent times, the announcement appears to be nothing more than a useless utterance of words. Why? Well, it’s because there won’t be any cars with conventional engines to ban by 2040—at least not in France.
Volvo—one of the leading manufacturers of cars in France—had recently announced that they’ll only manufacturing hybrid cars post 2019. Other manufacturers, such as Peugeot and Renault, have also got enough ideas in their locker to make the switch. Why then, has the Macron government announced such a timescale is beyond the reasoning of most experts.
When you consider how a polluted country like India has put forward the idea of no longer selling the fuel driven cars post 2030, the fact that the government of France is labeling its call to action as some part of an environmental “revolution” appears to be nothing short of a sham. While the French government is at it, why don’t they ban the sales of horses for transportation by 2040 also? Both of their announcements can be equally useless that way!
The French automaker Renault seems as if it was drooling over the uplifting of bans on Iran.
It only took a little while for the carmaker to strike a deal with Iran worth $987 million! The deal basically states that the carmaker will make tens of thousands of cars annually under a joint venture with Iran. Trump is already trying to isolate the automobile industry of Iran. So, here is the problem: the deal is pretty good from Iran’s point of view, but as for Renault, there does not seem any real value to it.
As if that wasn’t a problem in itself, by making this deal, the automaker is unnecessarily damaging its alliances with the US. In fact, Donald Trump only recently signed sanctions against Iran. Moreover, he also took the French President Emmanuel Macron on board to impede the growing influence of Iran. Not only does Renault try hard to break the confidence of the US President in the French government to fight Iran’s influence, but it has also put other French industries in jeopardy. You would not want to break ties with the US just so a petty carmaker like Renault can indulge in making cars with Iran.
It is evident that Renault knows no meaning of common courtesy when it hired Marcin Budkowski as Executive Director.
Marcin had been an FIA technical chief for eight months before Renault decided to lure him in. This means that he has an insight to pretty much all the secrets of the different F1 teams. As bad as it was on his part, it should have been Renault that should’ve busted the move.
It is unethical that you hire a person who knows well about the components different companies are using on their cars. It simply makes the sport unfair and inclines it into the favor of the desperate Renault. According to Toto Wolff from Mercedes,
“it’s incorrect that a person of that seniority within the FIA should be allowed to be in another working environment within a three-month period”
The low-blow Renault has made has caused several major names in the F1 Strategy Group. These names include McLaren, Red Bull, and Ferrari etc. Marcin will definitely use his knowledge and expertise in order to give Renault a chance to lead. This itself tells the trust this French automobile company has over its own components, operations and capabilities.
Who could have known the infamous French Automobilegiant—the PSA Group—was a cheater?
The fraudulent activities of this company were recently brought forward by a French newspaper. It revealed that the PSA Group had been manipulating tests regarding the diesel emission in cars.
The outrageous act is not something new for the company. It has already issued false specs for over 2 million vehicles to date. It was a mere act of frivolity on their part. The published report stated that the Citroen and Peugeot automobiles were allegedly put onto the streets.
Astonishingly, these cars released diesel emissions that went on to exceed the legal limit. The device PSA Group used to create fake specifications was called the “defeat device”. The deceitful nature of this company can be comprehended by the fact that it actually took measures to better hide the “defeat device” once the hoax began to turn in undue profits.
According to an estimate, PSA Group has made nothing less than a mind-boggling 40 billion dollars in profit while deceiving the market. When caught for the crime, the Group conveniently lied about its ties to the “defeat device”. It is such a disgrace for any business to indulge in such activities, let alone a multi-million dollar one.
The US and France have been great allies for centuries. French automaker Renault shows absolutely no regard for it though.
The United States and Iran haven’t gotten along well in the past many years. The US recently imposed a new sanction over Iran which shows that the tension between the countries still exists. While all this was taking place, France was supposed to take sides with the US and keep away from Iranian deals.
Instead, Renault has had the audacity to make a historic deal with the middle-eastern country. The multimillion dollar deal will definitely infuriate the Trump Administration denting the long-lasting relationship.
As per the deal, the French automaker will set up its plants in Iran. These plants will produce around 150,000 cars each year. The project will begin from 2018, and will initially produce Renault’s infamous Duster compact SUV as well as its Symbol.
The appalling move by the French automaker was nothing but disgrace to the terms the US have had with France. What’s even more saddening was the fact that President Trump even had a dialogue with Emmanuel Macron—French President—on the matter. Trump had wanted to lessen Iran’s influence in the Middle-Eastern conflict, but the French automobile industry is out there making historic handshakes with Iran—a true depiction of backstabbing!
The French automobile industry has the audacity of taking over two decades to ban petrol and diesel cars, something other countries will be done by 2030.
For some unknown reason, the French automobile industry lives under the notion that it is fine to set targets for something that needs to be settled right away. Recently, it was revealed that it will impede the sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040. How about waiting another century?
The so-called optimistic measure was driven by Volvo’s statement to fully go electric by 2019. It is difficult to comprehend why these mega businesses fail to work in a timely manner. By 2040, the damage by extensive carbon emissions would probably have been done.
According to European Environment Agency, Automakers like Peugeot, Renault and Citroen are the top three businesses when it comes to lessened carbon emissions. To put into perspective how ridiculous the target set by the French automobile industry is, Norway and Germany have the same targets but for the year 2025 and 2030 respectively. This only depicts the incapability of the French auto industry.
France calls itself as one of the leaders in the world’s climate action. With the lenient targets it has set for itself, it is more than difficult for anyone to agree.