French carmakers to tout fuel efficient concepts at 2014 Paris Motor Show

Article by Andrew Christian, on September 29, 2014

French carmakers PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and Renault are planning to highlight their presence at the biggest auto show at their home turf by underscoring how fuel efficient their offerings are. Peugeot and Citroen are both intending to shown concept vehicles with lightweight materials and a compressed-air hybrid drivetrain – allowing them to consume as low as 2 liters of gasoline per 100km (United Kingdom 141 mpg; United States 117 mpg).

Renault will unveil a lightweight plug-in hybrid concept that consumes as low as 1 liter per 100km (UK 282 mpg; US 235 mpg). Ian Fletcher, an analyst at IHS Automotive, told Automotive News Europe that PSA and Renault both do well on the fuel-efficiency front in Europe, offering vehicles focused on the smaller vehicle categories.

He added that both carmakers have strong backgrounds in diesel technology and have turned to engine downsizing. The concepts were partly or majorly funded by the French government, which agreed in 2009 to provide the EUR3 billion to each carmaker in emergency financing in the form of low-interest loans. PSA said back then that most of the funds will for development of fuel-efficient, low-emission vehicles.

Renault said it would use the money for developing vehicles with zero or very low carbon dioxide emissions. According to Fletcher, France wanted to its local carmakers Renault and PSA gain further momentum in creating fuel-efficient vehicles to get them ready for stricter emissions regulations.

He added that France hopes to secure jobs in both r&d and manufacturing in its own turf. The government has also extended to French suppliers like Faurecia, Michelin, Plastic Omnium and Valeo.

The suppliers were tasked to show the components they developed were cost-effective and reliable for use in production models, a spokesman for Faurecia told Automotive News Europe.

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