Ford and Renault, have joined forces with VW’s shareholder Lower Saxony, to oppose French government’s decision to help PSA/Peugeot-Citroen.
The automakers fear that the 7 billion euro ($9.1 billion) loan offered by the French government for Banque PSA Finance, the struggling car-loan division, will give Peugeot an unfair advantage in Europe’s slumping car market. Stephen Odell, Ford of Europe CEO, said that some automakers even doubted the refinancing deal is legal.
“I don’t think it’s sustainable for support from governments to keep competitive companies going forward, particularly in a protracted downsized economy,” Odell told analysts and reporters during a conference call on Thursday.
Ford recently announced it closes the plants in Genk, Belgium and Southampton, England, and a stamping factory in Dagenham near London, a move to cut costs in Europe and restore profit on the continent. The automaker announced it expects a loss of $1.5 billion in the region for 2012 and the same amount in 2013. Renault said it will ‘pay close’ attention and will make sure that the loan doesn’t bring unfair advantage to the company.
”Once we understand the precise details of the scheme, our interest is that there would not be any distortion of competition,” he said during a call with analysts on Thursday.