Automotive: the Elysée does not rule out a new back-to-school support plan

Posted on Jul 12, 2021, 5:00 PMUpdated on Jul 12, 2021, 5:11 PM

Will the State make an additional effort to support the French industry engaged in the electric revolution? On the eve of the announcement by the European Commission of its climate package, which will impose heavy constraints on the sector, Emmanuel Macron’s arbitration on a number of subjects was eagerly awaited. But the French president postponed his possible decisions until the start of the school year in September.

During the meeting on Monday July 12 with all the players in the sector (manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, unions), he did not, however, close the door to requests for support from manufacturers. “We felt a real listening on the part of the public authorities, with a real awareness of the heavy impacts that the sector is likely to suffer”, commented on the automotive platform (PFA).

Ringing and stumbling aids

Companies fearing to see thermal engines banned in France in 2035 should be (half) reassured. While they pleaded the cause of plug-in hybrids as a transitional solution, “the president said that this subject would be part of France’s position” vis-à-vis Brussels, explained an advisor to Emmanuel Macron to the outcome of the meeting.

“He did not mark the end of thermal engines in 2035, since that would de facto exclude hybrids”, he also specified. On the Euro 7 standards which will apply to heat engines after 2025, “France’s will is that no more constraints are added to a sector already under pressure”.

The issue of ringing aids was also postponed for the start of the school year. The PFA has estimated at 17 billion euros the investments necessary for France to maintain an automotive industry worthy of the name, including 8 billion in terminals, and 9 billion in other areas (batteries, power electronics, etc. ). “We estimate the necessary public support at 30% of this amount,” said the PFA.

Recalling the sums already released for the sector via funds for innovation and modernization, or the purchase bonuses that support demand, the government has given an appointment to industrialists at the beginning of September. “The government is open to supporting these investments,” says the adviser. “The president asked that this plan be clarified by the end of the summer, with the way in which it would be articulated with the various existing devices”.

Location of activities in France

Work will therefore continue, so as to be able to present a detailed investment plan in early September. But beware, “faced with this plan, there will be a strong stake in creating and maintaining jobs, with a real approach to volumes”, continues the Elysee. In other words, manufacturers, for their part, will have to commit to locating their activities in France and the Elysee asks them to build a collective approach similar to what is being done in the field of construction. ‘air.

Friday, the president of the PFA, Luc Chatel, had alerted to the risks that the shift to all-electric posed to the sector, evoking the potential loss of 100,000 jobs in France. “There is consensus on the diagnosis,” we told the PFA. The coming weeks will therefore be devoted to agreeing also on remedies to support the transition.

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