News, views & analysis blogs by: Kimberly Elsham





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Kimberly Elsham :
France: A Strategic Target for Truck And Automotive Investment


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Kimberly Elsham :
The world’s leading truck manufacturing and automotive supply companies are continuing to make big investments in France to take advantage of its vast network of specialized research centers and to gain access to key partners and clients already in the area.

“France’s central location and its known automotive expertise — the French companies PSA Peugeot Citroën and Renault are among the world’s top leaders in the industry — are important draws for international investors,” says Philippe Favre, president of the Invest in France Agency.

A major recent investment of EUR 57 million (84 million USD) is being made into Renault Trucks, which runs the Swedish Volvo Group’s truck-cab production facility in Calvados, France. Spread over three years, the investment will help increase cab production capacity and raise the paint-coating quality, allowing Renault Trucks to switch to environmentally friendly water-based paints. The changes at the plant are expected to be complete by 2009.

Another industry giant, the American company General Motors, is also expanding its business in France by leasing a new 27,400-square-meter (295,000-square-foot) distribution center in Paris to enhance the logistics process of its Opel spare parts operations.

Two top German automobile parts manufacturing companies have also chosen France: Reichhart Logistik set up in France at the start of 2007 in the north of France, where it is investing EUR 2 million (3 million USD) to assemble and weld exhaust lines, and Pierburg, subsidiary of Kolbenschmidt Pierburg AG, is investing nearly EUR 6 million (9 million USD) to launch new water-pump production lines in its factory in Moselle.

France is also drawing international investors with its expertise in automotive electronics, diesel engines, electric vehicles, innovative materials, and surface coatings. Many innovative project partnerships involving foreign companies are being launched within the nation’s dedicated competitive zones, including the global cluster Mov’eo (automobiles, collective transport and road safety), Véhicules du Futur (vehicles of the future), Automobile Haute de Gamme (luxury vehicles and on-board systems), Lyon Urban Truck & Bus 2015 (urban transport), Mobilité et Transports Avancés (mobility and advanced transport) and Viameca (automobile mechanics).

The industry’s key world players recently gathered in France to exchange cutting-edge strategies and technical information at the Truck and Bus World Forum, which took place in Lyon, France’s second-largest city, from December 12 to 14. Invest in France was present to highlight the nation’s attractiveness and the strengths of its vehicle industry.

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 www.investinfrance.org.

For more information, please contact:

INVEST IN FRANCE NORTH AMERICA
Benoît Gausseron
Vice President of Marketing and Communications
810 Seventh Ave.
New York, NY 10019
Tel: (212) 757-9340
Fax: (212) 757-1568
E-mail: benoit.gausseron@investinfrance.org
Web: www.investinfrance.org/northamerica

or:

FRENCH TECHNOLOGY PRESS OFFICE
205 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 3740
Chicago, IL 60601
Fax: (312) 327-5261
E-mail: contact.ftpo@ubifrance.fr

























































































































































































































































































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