10 April 2009

France – Cars Rated

Two companies and three brands along with a Japanese car plant make up the French car industry.

2007 Production: 2.6 million cars and 3.0 m vehicles in total.

General perception: Flair, diving pleasure, interesting and unique styling along with cheap interiors and dubious build quality.

I say: The perception is spot on although they are improving quality and reliability. However, there is a long way to go yet.

Prognosis: The French car makers, both Renault and PSA, are not in a very good position. They need to improve perceptions quickly or do a BLMC and merge, hopefully with more success. I wouldn’t buy a French branded car and too many others feel the same. They do enjoy strong popularity at home and in Europe (although diminishingly so in Europe) and certain Latin countries. In the rest of the world they are a quirky alternative on the fringes of the market place. Surely they need a better product and aggressive marketing to change that. It will not be easy.

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