World

the challenge of French companies

A small Citroën that runs down the Great Wall of China. It was in 1986. The French manufacturer was launching the assault of the Chinese market. Thirty-three years later, how is PSA doing in China? The tricolor company has allied with Chinese Dongfeng and produces its cars in five factories. Models are sold at dealerships. A Chinese motorist says he is happy. But in China, Peugeot is bad, with 750,000 cars sold in 2014, against 270,000 last year. The group will sell one plant, close another, and cut 4,000 jobs, half of its workforce. Lack of notoriety, models considered too big … Chinese brands also make more and more competition. Despite setbacks, the two manufacturers remain very connected. Dongfeng did a nice job. It holds 12.2% of the capital of PSA, as much as the French State and the Peugeot family. PSA will launch smaller models.

With 400 million consumers, the gigantic Chinese market attracts French brands. Luxury, sports, hotels, commerce … More than a thousand companies are established there. But to impose oneself remains difficult. Carrefour, in particular, has undergone the new direction of the government, which sometimes favors local businesses. In the end, he had to sell his stores to a Chinese. The other danger is technology transfer. Example: EDF, which has been supporting the construction of nuclear power plants in China for thirty years. Their last joint work, an EPR, is the first in activity in the world. On the other hand, France keeps its advance in the air. Paris sells hundreds of planes in Beijing and Airbus has a factory on site. The first aircraft “made in China” is in the testing phase. He will not be able to fly in Europe for several years.

The JT

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