Are French Cars French?

It used to be that people would say that while Americans would buy anything regardless of where it was produced, people in Europe tended to buy domestically produced products.

It used to be that people would say that while Americans would buy anything regardless of where it was produced, people in Europe tended to buy domestically produced products.

This was said to be the case when it came to automobiles, which explains why more than half of the U.S. vehicle market consists of Asian- and European-brand cars and trucks.

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Hmm. . .those Twingos aren’t in France.                                (photo: Dingo)

So it came as a surprise to discover that French carmakers produced just 13% of their vehicles in France in 2013, according to research from Inovev.

Specifically, of the 10.5-million vehicles produced by Renault-Nissan and PSA Peugeot-Citroën, just 1.4-million were produced on French territory.

In the case of Renault, 6% of their vehicles were produced on French soil in 2013, down from 18% in 2000. (Admittedly, the creation of the Renault-Nissan Alliance in March 1999 undoubtedly had a little something to do with that.

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Citroën’s 95th birthday party. . .in Shanghai.

PSA is doing a bit more domestically, as 33% of its vehicles were produced in France. (However, given that there is a strong push—production and sales—for the company in China, presumably there will be a shift in terms of its French output.)

Zut alors!