The French are known for many things, such as the advent of the beret. But look how they are handling their auto industry bailout. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is ready to offer new financing assistance to the country’s troubled auto industry, which include PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, and Renault, not to mention their suppliers and dealers and everyone else associated with the industry. But there are strings attached—French style. Sarkozy will only grant assistance if the companies promise to keep manufacturing in France. Renault and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen already manufacture in such places as Brazil, Columbia, Romania, Russia, India, Poland and Turkey.
Sarkozy wants commitments that the automakers aren’t going to take the money and run, while France’s companies have to ask themselves if winning access to new government-backed credit at low interest rates outweighs the risk of state intervention in their day-to-day activities.
How would the U.S. auto companies react to such a proposal from Obama? Let’s hear your thoughts.