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The French government is planning to cut its holdings in global automotive supplier Valeo as part of its bid to boost the country's struggling auto industry. According to Bpifrance Participations, the French government had commenced process of selling around 2 million shares -- equivalent to 2.5 percent of the Valeo capital -- through a private placement.
Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Credit Agricole CIB are lead managers of the placement. Once the transaction materializes, Bpifrance would only have a 3.3-percent stake in Valeo. "I am grateful to Bpifrance Participations for having taken a stake in our capital at a key moment in Valeo's history, in the midst of the crisis in 2009," Valeo chief executive Jacques Aschenbroich said in a statement.
Using Valeo had a market value of EUR8.04 billion ($11.15 billion) at the market close on March 11, 2014, which means that the stake divestment would result to around EUR201 million ($278.72 million) in proceeds. Shares of the global automotive supplier have surged more than nine-fold since the end of 2008, thanks to strong auto demand in North American market that helped the supplier ride and offset a six-year slump in Europe.Read the entire article France to reduce stake in Valeo via private placement
Mini recently announced the newest version of the MINI, the limited-edition Blackfriars. It took inspiration from a historic portion of London, and it will exclusively be sold in France. Customers will only be able to get the three-door or five-door Hardtop model through the end of the year.
For a little bit of backstory, it was the robes of the Dominican monks who were living in that section of London that were given the name Blackfriars. And as mentioned earlier, this is where Mini took inspiration from. Therefore, the special edition Mini gets a matte black trim on both the B- and C-pillars. But those are not the only bits that are finished in matte black as this finish is also seen on the turn signals and Blackfriars badges. What finishes off the exterior look would be the 17-inch Cosmos Spoke wheels with dark accents.
The special edition Mini comes with some useful tech as well, such as automatic headlights and electrically folding mirrors.Read the entire article French buyers can now get their hands on this special edition MINI Hardtop Blackfriars
France has already jumpstarted plans for a greener future. The country’s Minister of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, Nicolas Hulot promises that by 2040, sales of diesel and gasoline fueled cars will be over. Instead of making use of fossil fuels that harm our environment, the minister opts for a transition to purely electric mobility. This is just a part of his proposed series of measures to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.
To clean up the country, the minister came out with a 23-point plan that spans over six major themes. But we will already witness the implementation of some of these measures during Emmanuel Macron, France’s newly elected president’s term.
The good thing is that they have already started taking actions. Hulot developed a program wherein residents who trade in a pre-1997 diesel vehicle or pre-2001 gasoline car into an electric vehicle, or a less polluting one will be given monetary incentives. However, he has not yet specified how much the people will be receiving.Read the entire article France aims to end sale of fossil fuel-powered vehicles by 2040
Citroen is phasing out the current generation C5 in Europe after it produced the final example in Rennes, France. The C5, being one of the aging models released for the European market since 2007, coincides with the ending of Citroen’s famous hydropneumatic suspension. It can be recalled that the automaker officially confirmed that it will end the use of this “old technology” in 2015 due to low customer demand and high production cost. Having said that, Citroen intends to replace its famous hydraulics system with a more innovative set-up this year.
For more than a decade, the French marque was able to sell over 635,000 examples of the C5 and 435,000 of it was marketed in Europe. In 2016, Citroen however sold fewer than 10,000 examples of the C5 to the European market.
While the station wagon was the final example of the C5 made for Europe and the production of the sedan came to a halt the previous year, Citroen will continue producing the C5’s revolutionized version in China. As for Europe, the French automaker is working on a new generation model that could possibly take the shape of a sporty hatchback instead of the traditional sedan body style.Read the entire article Production of current generation Citroen C5 and its hydraulic suspension finally ends in Europe
Renault previously did not have a luxury model under its belt and the French automaker kept bustling its releases further up-market especially in its homestead. This hasn't produced an Initiale Paris variant of the brand new Megane. But the new Megane model has finally received its timely new flagship luxury trim called Renault Megane Akaju.
Megane Akaju is set to be the popular hatchback range's most luxurious trim level and is set to be displayed during the sale network's promotional week scheduled on June 15-19.
The most economical version bears a price tag of around €27,600 and rises to about €31,400. Choose the 3 alternative options previously mentioned and the price will increase to €33,000.Read the entire article Renault unveils Megane Akaju Limited Edition in France
The 70th Cannes International Film Festival isn’t just about films and celebrities. During this year’s event, French automaker Renault surprised us with their range topping high-end shuttle, the Trafic SpaceClass. The van was used as a shuttle for VIPs going to the event.
The name “SpaceClass” comes from the idea that the luxury van provides both “space and comfort” for up to nine passengers. Renault expects the van to be part of the luxurious shuttle market, along with its competitors: the Citroën Spacetourer and the Peugeot Traveller.
SpaceClass comes in an exclusive shade of grey paint, exclusive head- and taillights, gloss black detailing, colour-coded bumpers, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Though it may just look like a regular van from the outside, don’t judge the SpaceClass based on its exterior, as all the amazing features can be found inside the cabin.Read the entire article Renault launches VIP shuttle Trafic SpaceClass at Cannes Film Festival
Everyone, meet the new presidential car. Newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron has appointed the latest DS 7 Crossback as his official car during the recent inauguration. It was barely a couple of months ago since Groupe PSA introduced the new crossover but it wasn’t until the parade that the public finally saw what the new crossover looks like. Otherwise known as Distinctive Series/Different Spirit, the DS marque actually had been Citroen’s sub brand from 2009 until it became an independent brand in 2014. No matter how deeply rooted DS Cars are with Citroen models, it is worth noting that these two have very distinct qualities when it comes to manufacturing and engineering.
The presidential car certainly has more special features than any regular unit ever built by the premium car brand. Apart from the soft top roof cover, the custom designed SUV comes with a flag holder on one side. Atelier Maury meanwhile designed its Black leather interior which matches the Ink Blue exterior paint perfectly. To complete the premium look, the presidential SUV comes equipped with a new set of 20-inch alloy wheels in two tone finish plus gold detailing.
Despite the lack of details about its powertrain, the French automaker assures that the presidential car has all the latest technologies similar to the upcoming production version. One of which is the highly advanced DS Active Scan Suspension with built-in camera as well as the DS Connected Pilot for autonomous driving.Read the entire article French President Emmanuel Macron rides in a custom DS 7 Crossback
A global scale ransomware cyber-attack has caused several factories of Renault-Nissan Alliance to stop production on Saturday. According to Automotive News, the company’s spokesperson said they have administered “proactive measures” which led to the temporary shutdown of certain production sites. Reuters however confirmed the next day that regular work is slated to resume on Monday particularly in France.
Over the weekend, thousands of computers have been infected with WannaCry ransomware, spreading to almost one hundred countries worldwide. The French carmaker has particularly shut down its Sandouville plant in Northwestern France following the attack. The first sign of threat in Renault’s Sandouville factory occurred when the assembly line’s alarm didn’t work on Saturday. This happened shortly after a ransom demand appeared on their monitors.
Renault-Nissan failed to give a full list of the affected sites but a spokesperson from the UK said that files in Nissan’s Sunderland factory were hit on Friday evening. It didn’t however confirm if the Sunderland plant was shut down afterwards. The UK production facility has about 7,000 employees which manufactures the Infiniti Q30 and QX30, the Nissan Juke, Note, Qashqai and Nissan Leaf. In any case, Renault reassures that almost all factories will be opening today.Read the entire article Ransomware cyber-attack affects Renault’s production in France and the UK
Motorists wanting to have the 2017 Citroen C-Elysee in their respective garages may now be able to place an order for the compact sedan in France. This face-lifted iteration of the Citroen C-Elysee could be availed at a starting price of €13,750 ($14,459).
According to the French carmaker, interested customers could only avail of one trim level for the 2017 Citroen C-Elysee, dubbed as Live. The base version of the 2017 Citroen C-Elysee is laden with an array of standard equipment that includes the Citroen Connect Radio system. This feature comes with a new touchscreen (measuring seven inches), which has an interface that paves the way for a more responsive in-vehicle experience. Allowing users to connect their smartphones to the vehicle through Bluetooth, this seven-inch touchscreen serves as a hub from where users could control the multimedia and telephone functions through smartphone connectivity (Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink).
Designed to appeal to markets around the world, the new Citroen C-Elysee is underpinned by the same components that underpin the Peugeot 301. As many have guessed, the 2017 Citroen C-Elysee sports a revised look – although overall, its appearance has not changed that much. Cosmetics tweaks implemented on the new 2017 Citroen C-Elysee include a revised radiator grille as flanked by redesigned headlights, LED daytime running lights and fog lights as well as taillights with three-dimensional effect lights. Cosmetic tweaks for the 2017 iteration of the Citroen C-Elysee also included the addition of Lazuli Blue and Aluminum Grey colors, replacing the Teles Blue and Steel Grey hues, respectively. New 16-inch wheels could also be availed for the 2017 C-Elysee.Read the entire article 2017 Citroen C-Elysee now available to order in France with €13,750 starting price
A French commission looking into emissions in the auto industry has called carmakers Mercedes-Benz and Opel to face the panel before the month ends. Renault recently had its executives appear before the panel after a government investigation discovered that some Renault vehicles emitted NOx levels higher than recorded in laboratory tests.
Preliminary results from government tests showed that emissions from a number of Renault vehicles – the Captur SUV, Espace minivan and an unnamed utility vehicle – went beyond the legal limits, a report in Les Echos newspaper says.
Moreover, tests have indicated that the Ford C-Max and Mercedes-Benz S-Class models had emissions level higher than legally allowable limits, Les Echos reported.Read the entire article Mercedes-Benz and Opel get called by French emission commission
Groupe Renault’s Design teams typically work on various ideas that are not meant to renew models in its range but instead, they create something new just for the sake of it. The creation of the Coupé Corbusier concept car began about two years ago when the design team wanted to learn more about “French cultural objects.”
Their research brought them back to the 1930s which is considered by many as the golden age of automobiles. One thing they learned was that while Le Corbusier was a clear cause for reflection, it was in fact, concept-wise, a prelude to many of the modern cars.
The team saw inspiration in Le Corbusier’s simplicity, mastery of light, geometric elegance, the aesthetically-pleasing structure, and visual appeal. The Design teams knew that they had to honor this visionary designer and architect who made it possible not only to reinvent architecture but to make it more accessible to the public at large.Read the entire article Renault unveils tribute concept car for designer Le Corbusier
Audi will launch a production car that uses Valeo’s electric supercharger next year. Other automakers are likely to follow as talks are now ongoing with several companies. This electric supercharger boosts an engine's acceleration while saving fuel. Valeo, which is based in France, didn’t name which Audi model this supercharger will be in but if reports are to be believed, it will be fitted on the Audi Q7 premium SUV.
Valeo's Chief Operating Officer Christophe Perillat-Piratoine said that the French company is talking to several automakers about this technology; however, he didn’t name these brands. Valeo's electric supercharger removes the lag time in the acceleration of cars that use turbocharged engines. Valeo’s system is different from that of a turbocharger, which runs off exhaust gases.
Valeo’s system provides the engine with an almost instantaneous air flow to increase acceleration via an electric motor. Fuel consumption is cut by 7-20%, Valeo claims.Read the entire article Audi uses Valeo’s electric supercharger on car set for release in 2016
France will spend as much as 1.23 billion euros ($1.3 billion) to temporarily increase its stake in Renault in order to keep its influence on the auto company. The French government has been purchasing shares in the automaker to raise its stake from 15% to 19.73%. In 2014, a revision was made in French law that means that double voting rights are given to shares in publicly traded companies that have been held for over two years.
However, shareholders could adopt resolutions in annual general meetings to preserve the one-share, one-vote system. According to the industry minister, this resolution was suggested for Renault's annual meeting on April 30. The government is undertaking measures to guarantee that it doesn’t pass.
In a statement, Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said that this deal is proof of the intention of the State to exploit “all the arms” that investors can make use of in order to support “a progressive, long-term kind of capitalism that supports workers and helps companies grow.”Read the entire article French government raises stake in Renault to 19.73% to sustain voting rights
If Valeo’s plans proceed without a hitch, it will be able to offer self-driving vehicle platforms to automakers before this decade ends. Valeo, an auto parts maker based in France, intends to utilize its partner Safran’s drone software and other military technologies.
Last Friday, Valeo was demonstrating autonomous car and other prototype systems that were jointly developed with Safran. Valeo revealed that the first applications may be available to its automaker buyers in the next three years.
The two French companies have a research and development deal forged in 2013. They’re in collaboration to build self-driving systems with final applications that range from hatchbacks to unmanned aircraft.Read the entire article Valeo, Safran work together to create self-driving vehicle platforms
The French government will, albeit gradually, align taxes on diesel and gasoline as well as offer incentives to urge consumers to shift to electric vehicles. According to Energy Minister Segolene Royal, France will provide an incentive of up to EUR10,000 ($11,422) to buyers of an electric car to replace an old diesel unit starting April.
Royal said that the government wants to get rid of diesel cars more than 13 years old and have no filters, adding that these measures will make it "harder and harder" to use them. In December, the government announced in December that it will hike the so-called TICPE excise tax on diesel by 2 euro cents per liter.
Since taxes are lower on diesel than on gasoline, this has encouraged consumers to purchase diesel cars. Environmental groups have been urging the French government to align the taxes. French carmakers have supported the measures, as they would encourage consumers to their old vehicles with newer ones.Read the entire article France to offer up to EUR10,000 for diesel-to-EV switchers
Toyota Motor Corp.’s plans to smoothly start its electric car-sharing experiment in Grenoble, France stumbled into a barrier – the city’s new mayor. Prior to the election in March 2014, the then mayor had vowed to install security cameras at all 27 planned charging stations for Toyota's i-Road three-wheeled electric scooter.
But that mayor lost to Eric Piolle, who refused to fulfill the promise to Toyota, simply because he had run on an anti-surveillance platform. Toyota’s program suffered several instances of vandalism during its first three months, which greatly slowed its introduction.
Because of that, one can hardly see the i-Roads vehicles in the city center – a tall hurdle for Toyota’s sharing program. Several i-Roads have been vandalized since they were placed in September 2014, prompting Toyota to install alarms.Read the entire article Toyota i-Road sharing program in France meets political hurdle
A plan by France to get rid of its policies encouraging diesel cars has met criticisms from the country’s own carmakers -- PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and Renault. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has announced that the government will get rid of policies that have "favored the diesel engine" and will raise excise tax on diesel fuel as well as remove incentives for diesel car purchases.
PSA remarked that a change in the policy will hurt its competitiveness as it has been considered a leader in diesel technology. A spokeswoman for PSA told Automotive News Europe that diesel is a key technology to cut greenhouse gas and to fight against climate change.
She noted that the increase in excise tax on diesel will place France at a disadvantage compared with Germany. For decades, France has encouraged consumers to select diesel cars by imposing lower fuel and purchase taxes.Read the entire article PSA and Renault hits government plans to reverse diesel policy
New-car sales in France dropped 2 percent in November to 135,070 registrations as consumer confidence in the country continues to drop, according to the CCFA industry association. This marks a second straight month of drop, after new-car sales in October also dipped 4 percent. The growth in new-car sales in France is in contrast with the recovery in auto demand in Europe.
In fact, French car sales for the first 11 months of 2014 surged just 1 percent to 1.63 million vehicles. According to CCFA president Patrick Blain, auto demand in the country would still be weak in 2015, with no reason to expect the vehicle market to pick up next year.
Blain expects full-year sales growth this year to be "in the lower end" of CCFA’s 1-2 percent guidance range. The association recently ditched an earlier 2-percent growth forecast as it seemed unattainable.Read the entire article New-car sales in France skid 2 percent in November 2014
The French government plans to gradually phase out diesel as fuel for passenger cars and institute next year a system that would identify the most polluting vehicles, Prime Minister Manuel Valls told Automotive News. The identification system will rank vehicles according to the amount of pollution they release, thus allowing local authorities to limit city access for the dirtiest cars.
Valls remarked France has made a mistake in favoring the diesel engine, noting that they plan “progressively undo that, intelligently and pragmatically." It is estimated that around 80 percent of drivers in France use diesel-powered vehicles.
Valls disclosed that the government would implement state budget measures in 2015 that would try to cut the tax advantage of diesel fuel versus gasoline. The French government has already made an announcement of plans to increase so-called TICPE excise tax on diesel by 2 euro cents per liter.Read the entire article France to gradually phase out diesel as fuel for passenger cars
Car sales in France dropped 4 percent in October to 160,162 units, with consumers delaying or cancelling making large buys due to falling confidence and deflation risk, according to CCFA industry association. The sales drop in October marks the first year-on-year decline since February, after adjusting for the number of selling days each month.
Association spokesman Francois Roudier said that there are indications of weakening economic confidence in France, noting that the country has so far lagged behind Europe's auto market recovery.
According to CCFA, car sales in France jumped just 1 percent in the first 10 months of the year are up just 1 percent, with Roudier saying that the association will be reviewing its 2 percent full-year growth forecast in the next few weeks.Read the entire article French car sales fall 4% in October 2014 to 160,162 units
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