Paris Car Crackdown: Good For The Environment, Bad For The Poor

French Cars In Paris

If you drive a car that was built before 1997, maybe it would be a good idea to drop the plans of visiting Paris for the holidays.

The city of love, old things, and love for old things will not tolerate vintage cars anymore. The ban on old vehicles was a part of measures implemented by the Parisian socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo. If you are in Paris, you’re not allowed to drive a car older than 1997 or a motorcycle older than 2000. Doing so can result in a penalty ranging from €35 to a staggering €450.

The goal is simple. According to the mayor, the ban will reduce the smog across the city and lead to improved traffic conditions. It’s an attempt to drastically cut emission levels for better environmental conditions.

Although designed to deliver on the environmental promise, the ban is attracting its fair share of criticism from some of the less affluent sections of the society. The measures are being perceived as highly elitist and socially unjust. The critics are speaking against the law which, in their opinion, penalizes the poor just because of their social status.

The problem is particularly critical in the suburban areas of the French capital where a lot of the city’s workers reside. Many of these workers cannot afford to buy newer vehicles and may face the brunt of enhanced environmental protection plans.

Are Renault-Nissan and Mitsubishi a Recipe for Disaster?

French Car

Carlos Ghosn must feel like he’s on the top of the world right now.

Last week, the Lebanese born CEO of the Renault-Nissan alliance had a wide grin on his face while shaking hands with Osamu Masuko, the chief executive of Mitsubishi, the newest addition to the Renault-Nissan. Ghosn has many reasons to be more than pleased about the deal. Not least of them is the fact that the deal will propel the alliance into the leagues of the Big Three – General Motors, Toyota, and Volkswagen. With combined global sales of 9.6 million vehicles annually, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi could be the next major player of the game.

However, does that wide grin hide his trepidations? And there are many. The foremost among them is the potential fallout from the Mitsubishi’s scandal. The Japanese car manufacturer found itself in the midst of an outcry over inflated fuel economy figures. The deal, which might be a huge leap forward in Ghosn’s career, might also destroy it.

Another reason to worry is that it will bring him further on a collision course with the French government. Mitsubishi’s inclusion into the mix could potentially exacerbate the conflict between Ghosn and the French government, which has previously intervened to acquire double voting rights for the long-term investors in the alliance and led a shareholder rebellion against Ghosn’s €7.3m pay package for 2015.