French Car Sales Fall 10th Month on the Row

French car sales have plummeted to new lows, as they fell for the 10th month of the row. The car sales for French car in France fell by 10 percent during the month of May. This is the 10th month on the trot that car sales within France have failed to register any significant gain. 

The spring season is supposed to be good for the sales of new cars, but this year, we haven’t seen any such trends. The year 2022 hasn’t been good for car sales in the nation of France, as car sales have only been going down. 

The semiconductor shortage across the world has led to slow deliveries in the country. The market for French cars has fallen down by over 16.92 percent during the year alone. Additionally light commercial vehicles have seen a fall of 25 percent, which is unprecedented. No other year saw such depleting levels of financial activity, besides 2020, which was marred by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The falling sales can be accredited to rising costs of living, with many people shying away from luxuries. Automobile manufacturers also predict that consumers are waiting for better options in the hybrid market to invest in them. 

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Renault Looks to Employ More People in Split Off Electrical Unit

French car maker Renault has been stealing the headlines for long now, and has promised now that the move to make two business units for electronic and conventional car production could each employ over 10,000 staff members by the end of 2023.

Renault recently released a statement and mentioned that it was currently assessing options and was in the move towards fossil-free vehicles.

“The aim of these strategic reflections is to adapt each technology, drawing on the group’s strengths and expertise on its various markets and within the Alliance”, Renault said.

Managers at Renault reiterated that jobs for EV production within France will bundle up, while workers for the production of conventional cars will be located abroad. Sources from earlier in the year had revealed that Chief Executive Luca de Meo was interested in splitting up the group, despite the potential cost overruns that it would lead to.

Renault is currently playing catch with rivals like Volkswagen and Tesla, both of whom have shot up ahead in the electric vehicle market. Several groups of workers are already being outlined for the shift in operations. There will be thermal, as well as hybrid and electric productions.

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Renault Shuts Down Operations in Russia

French Car manufacturer and automotive giant Renault has shut down its operations in the city of Moscow, Russia after officials in Kyiv called for a boycott of Russia and the company. The current presence of Renault in Russia was brought to the fore multiple times and has been a matter of contention since long. 

The growing tensions go to prove that it is time for Renault to shut down operations in Russia and side with Ukraine. 

“Renault Group has to revise its 2022 financial outlook with a Group operating margin of around 3 percent versus at least 4 percent previously,” it said.

Ukraine’s foreign minister on Wednesday called for a global boycott of Renault over its earlier refusal to leave the Russian market in the aftermath of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Renault refuses to pull out of Russia,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter ahead of the company’s announcement. “I call on customers and businesses around the globe to boycott Group Renault.”

Renault is particularly exposed as it invested in AvtoVAZ alongside Rostec, a state-owned defence conglomerate run by a sanctioned close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Regarding its stake in AvtoVAZ, Renault Group is assessing the available options, taking into account the current environment, while acting responsibly towards its 45,000 employees in Russia,” the statement said.

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Sebastian Vettel Supports Michael Masi After Controversial Grand Prix Call

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has defended Formula One race director Michael Masi, after his controversial call decided Max Verstappen as the winner of the 2021 season over Lewis Hamilton.

“For Michael, it has been a pity,” said Vettel, speaking at the launch of Aston Martin’s car for the 2022 season.

“There are two interests clashing — one is the sport and the other is the show. I don’t care so much about the show because what I look at is a sport and from a competitive point of view.”

The 34-year-old German added: “Michael has been very focused and determined to do a good job. I don’t know what is in store for his future but I hope he sticks around because overall he has done a very good job.

“There was a lot of controversy surrounding the last race but that shouldn’t be, because if you look at the bigger picture he has done really well.

“The main thing moving forward is that there is clarity in these situations so no further questions are asked.”

Hamilton still believes that the decision was manipulated and has appealed against it in front of the relevant authorities.

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Tesla Comes Under Fire for New Showroom in China

Tesla recently opened its new showroom in Xinjiang province in China. The company manufacturing electric cars has been subjected to extreme comments ever since due to the controversial nature of the move and the fact that the Xinjiang province is host to religious discrimination of Uyghurs and other minorities in the region. 

The genocide of Uyghur Muslims in the region goes way back in history but has only recently been documented in the media. While China has vehemently denied these allegations, there is substantial reason to believe that religious minorities are discriminated against in the region. 

The American car manufacturer had announced the opening of its new showroom in the Xinjiang province through its Weibo account. 

The Council on American Islamic Relations took a rigid stance on the matter and mentioned that the auto manufacturer was supporting the genocide of Muslims through this move. The United States has had a strict stance on the ethnic cleansing of Uyghur Muslims as well and has called this an ethnic genocide of sorts. There were calls to boycott the upcoming Winter Olympics as well. 

Tesla and Elon Musk haven’t commented on the criticism yet. The car manufacturer has seen a surge in sales within China and considers this to be a purely business move. 

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Citroen Removes Egyptian Commercial for Being Insensitive Towards Sexual Harassment

French car manufacturer Citroen has removed an Egyptian commercial starring actress and pop star Amr Diab for being insensitive towards sexual harassment. 

The French carmaker has a zero tolerance policy towards sexual harassment and reiterated that the commercial was removed in line of the same. 

The advertisement showed Diab using the car’s camera to photograph a woman crossing the streets, apparently without the consent of that woman. There was constant criticism on the advertisement online, with journalist Reem Abdellatif calling it to be creepy. 

Who thought it would be a good idea to make an ad that enables sexual harassment in a country where 98% of women reported getting harassed at some point in their lives?”

Another user said, “What’s painful about Amr Diab’s advert is that the entire crew did not realise the mistake. No-one in the crew objected to taking pictures of girls in the streets without their consent. This is so sad.

Citroen reacted to the negative feedback immediately and removed the advertisement from their social and streaming pages. The car manufacturer apologized for the negative interpretation in the film, which escaped their eyes at the time of formulation. 

Citroën cares for all communities in the countries where we operate and we do not tolerate any form of harassment.”

It added: “We deeply regret and understand the negative interpretation of this part of this film. With our business partner in Egypt, we took the decision to withdraw this commercial from all Citroën channels and we present our sincere apologies to all offended communities by this film.”

Amr Diab has so far not commented on the criticism. The news of the advertisement being removed was welcomed by Netizens who were previously surprised at the message being highlighted and displayed within it. 

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Red Bull Threaten to Protest over Controversy Surrounding Mercedes’s Rear Wing

Red Bull are in the process of protesting in front of the F1 authorities, against fierce rivals Mercedes for knowingly implementing a cheat in the rear wing. 

Team boss Christian Horner, from Red Bull, has mentioned that Mercedes have knowingly added a hidden way of boosting straight-line speed within their vehicle. 

Both Red Bull and Mercedes are currently in a tough battle on and off the field, as they look to close the season in style and get their hands on the laurels on offer. 

Red Bull, who rank ahead in individual driver standings, are behind Mercedes in the official team standings. The Red Bull team believes that Mercedes has rear score marks that can increase top speed on the circuit. 

Make no bones about it, if we see it on the car here it will be protested,” Horner told Sky F1. “It’s probably less of a factor here, than particularly Jeddah and Abu Dhabi,” he said. “But you could have a situation like in Brazil where the car is quite literally un-raceable.”

Mercedes team and boss have no concerns over allegations and comments made by Horner. “I think that’s his opinion, his perspective, and absolutely fine within the regulations to seek clarification or protest,” said Wolff of Horner’s comments.

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Lars Vilks: Muhammad cartoonist killed in traffic collision

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.”

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French Police Car Crashes after Officer Fires Taser at Driver

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. 

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French Car Sales Drop 35% in July as Chip Shortage Reduces Supply

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. 

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