Business World

Saturday 17 March 2018

French try to steer car makers toward boycotting US company

Adam Sage

THE French Government is urging Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroen to boycott Molex, an American electronic connector specialist that has come to be regarded in France as the embodiment of evil Anglo-Saxon capitalism.

Industry Minister Christian Estrosi issued the call after the group announced record profits while refusing to finance a redundancy package for 19 union representatives in France.

"I don't want there to be the slightest commercial exchange between our two manufacturers and Molex, which scorns the institutions of our country.

"This is unacceptable, scandalous. We're going to use all legal means necessary; we will force Molex to explain itself before French justice."

Critics accused him of tilting at windmills amid signs that PSA would continue to use Molex parts and that Renault may do so as well. They said Mr Estrosi's outburst was designed to appease French public opinion, angered at the announcement by Molex of net profits of €54.6m after the closure of its factory in France last year, with the loss of 283 jobs.

Renault, in which the French State holds a 15pc stake, refused to say whether it would pressure its suppliers to end contracts with the American group.

PSA suggested it had no intention of doing so. "It would take heavy investments and a certain delay if we were to stop working with it overnight," a spokesman said.

Irish Independent

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