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Kimberly Elsham :
Diesel Expertise Driving Motor-Sector Investment in France


Kimberly Elsham :
France’s expertise in diesel engine technology is attracting attention around the world, with major new investments flowing in from Germany, Japan, and the United States.

“France’s thriving automotive market has the second-highest percentage of diesel engines in Europe — 71% of new cars registered are diesel-powered — making it a strategic location for engine-related research and investment,” says Philippe Favre, president of Invest in France.

The latest investors in France include U.S. automotive equipment maker Delphi Corporation, which decided to boost its competitiveness in early 2007 by expanding its R&D center in Blois to manufacture diesel injectors, German automotive equipment leader Robert Bosch, which will put EUR 65 million (95 million USD) into its Rodez factory starting at the end of 2007 to manufacture new-generation common-rail injectors, and the Japanese automotive parts maker Ibiden, which will invest EUR 16 million (23 million USD) into its Courtenay factory to launch a third production line for diesel particulate filter (DPF) for diesel engines, expected to be operational by January 2009.

Thanks to strong diesel popularity, the French leader PSA Peugeot Citroën recently announced that it has now produced over 10 million vehicles equipped with HDi diesel engines. In France, the HDi diesel engines are produced in the group’s factories in Trémery (Eastern France) — the world´s largest diesel engine facility — and in Douvrin (Northern France), as part of an agreement with the American giant Ford Motor Company. Both sites are considered to be world-class centers of excellence, known for their highly skilled production teams.

R&D spending for the automotive industry is a priority in France, and cutting-edge projects are being driven in the nation’s dedicated motor-industry competitive clusters, including Mov’eo, Vehicle of the Future, Mobility and Advanced Transportation (MTA) and Lyon Urban Truck & Bus 2015. Foreign investors can get involved in these clusters and benefit from research funding. In the future, more new and diverse diesel-engine investment opportunities will arise in France in response to the need for cleaner hybrid vehicles and the launch of Euro 5/6 emission standards for cars.

Invest in France Agency (IFA) promotes and facilitates international investment in France. The IFA network operates worldwide, with offices in France, as well as in North America, Asia and Europe. For more information, please visit

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