Volkswagen Recall Casts Shadow Over France’s Auto Industry

How Will Emissions Scandal Affect The Future Of French Diesel?

ZOE Twins (Image: T. Larkum)

Renault’s electric car, the Zoe, accounted for half of all electric car sales in France in 2015. The car company, which traditionally produced diesel engines, has begun diversifying as the popularity of diesel wanes. (Image: T. Larkum)

Known for such cars as the classic Citroen Deux Chevaux and the luxury vehicles of powerhouse Renault, France has long been one of the largest and most recognizable car manufacturers in Europe — and indeed, in the world. But as its automotive market struggles to recover from lagging sales and more people grow skeptical of the environmental effects of diesel fuel (most French cars have diesel engines), a widening Volkswagen emissions scandal could mark a turning point for French auto manufacturing. A consumer shift to gasoline or alternative fuel would spell fiscal disaster for French car producers, unless they start diversifying engine fuels and looking to alternative energy, analysts said.

“I think it’s going to be negative; it’s very simple,” said macroeconomics analyst Jean Ergas, an adjunct assistant professor at the New York University School of Professional Studies. “This is going to be a big hit for them.”

Read more: IB Times

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