Renault Looking for Reduced Production Costs through Electric Manufacturing Hub

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. 

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Paris Police Fines Thousands of French Car Drivers in New Traffic Curb

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. 

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French Manufacturer Citroen Jumps Into the Indian Market with Rs. 29.9-lakh C5 Aircross SUV

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. 

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French Car Registrations Rise by Almost 200% after Steep Fall Last Year

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. 

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French Car Sales Fall By Over 20 Percent This February

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.

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European Car Markets Report Worst Sale Returns in Years

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. 

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French Police Bust and Charge Group of African Car Smugglers

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. 

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Thousands Protest and Burn French Cars in Countrywide Protests

Tens of thousands of people in France have taken to the streets and burnt down French cars as a means to demonstrate their anger against a new security law. The security law passed in the European country stopped residents from filming police officers during random observations and checks. 

Protests were largely concentrated in the cities of Paris, Lyon, Marseille and Strasbourg. Local reports suggest that a total of 50,000 people marched in Paris during isolated riots. 

The countrywide figure was marked at 500,000 as half a million people took to the streets. Protestors disturbed barricades, three different objects at police officials on duty and even burnt down French cars. 

Banners and signs were held by some proclaiming defiant messages against police: “Not see, not caught,” “France: Country of Rights of the Police,” “Carrying weapons is out of service,” and “Police everywhere, justice nowhere.”

According to France’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, a total of 37 police officers suffered severe or minor injuries during the protests and the violence that ensued. Police had also arrested 9 people for instigating violence and vandalism. 

Our liberty is in danger; we are really happy to see all of these people here today,” said a student marching in the protests. “It shows that Parisians are a people in pursuit of their liberty.”

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Citroën blocks Polestar 2 in France over ‘too-similar logo’

French car brand Citroen has taken Swedish Company Polestar to court over the alleged use of its trademark logo. Citroen is vying to block the sales of Swedish electric car brand Polestar in France on the grounds that their logo is too similar to the iconic chevron logo that the car manufacturer currently has. 

Polestar has started production on its electric 2 model in China and was expected to launch it in France by the start of 2021. Polestar carries chrome, 3D logo, which Citroen blames is too-similar to their chrome chevron logo. 

The court notice said, “The Polestar Performance company has harmed the reputation of French trademarks 3422762 and 3841054 owned by Automobiles Citroën.”

The French website for Polestar is current displaying this message, “Access to the Polestar site is not accessible to the French public due to territorial restrictions on the use of French trademarks n°016898173 and n°01689532.

The website then goes on to offer an international number that leads to a voicemail asking you to leave your contact details to be contacted later. Polestar’s reputation, which was already reeling from electric glitches in two of their previous vehicles, has further been damaged by this scandal. 

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French Politician Snubs Local Laws and Blocks Passenger Train With Parked Car

While French politicians aren’t really known for their wise antics, Jean Lassalle, an Independent Member of Parliament made a surprising entry to a rugby match in Bedous by parking his car on a railroad crossing. 

Lassalle was there to see his son play Rugby, and in his haste forgot to park his car right. 

It was later during the match that police approached him and asked him to pay a 135 Euro fine and to also move his car as it had been blocking a passenger train for the last half an hour. 

I saw this magnificent place and I parked there,” he told France Bleu. “The train was indeed at a standstill. I apologized to the passengers. Everyone was very nice. 

I have no excuse: it’s been two years since the line [opened] and I even inaugurated it,” he said. “It’s a big mistake.” 

Lassalle further went on to quip that if he had a driver like many of his peers, the accident wouldn’t have had happened in the first place. 

The visibility on the day was good, which is why the passenger train’s driver could see Mr. Lassalle’s parked car from a distance. With poor visibility, this could have ended badly. 

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