CERGY, France--A senior executive of French car maker Renault SA (>> RENAULT) Tuesday called for government support for the flagging European and French auto markets, saying its weakness is "particularly worrying."
Some governments in Europe introduced schemes in late 2008 to prop up the market that fell precipitously due to the international financial crisis.
"What I really want is support for the European and French markets," Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares told journalists on a visit to one of the company's spare parts logistics centers.
Mr. Tavares noted that the European car market was down 6% over the first five months of this year, while the French market was down 16%. That is worse than the falls of 3% in European and 16% in France for 2012 that Renault was projecting earlier this year. Mr. Tavares said Renault is sticking to its full-year outlook for now, but may revise it when it announces its first-half results at the end of July.
Mr. Tavares wouldn't say whether Renault has been talking to the French government about eventual steps to underpin flagging demand. But he said that "any kind of measure, if it boosts demand, would be welcome."
Mr. Tavares added he sincerely hopes that the market will recover later this year.
Meanwhile, Renault Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn predicted that the next three or four years will be difficult for Europe.
The euro-zone's monetary union will stick together through the current turmoil, but the next three to four years will be difficult economically for the region, said Mr. Ghosn, who also heads Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.(7201.TO, NSANY).
Some of the weaker countries may be forced to drop out of the euro for a short time, but they will return, said Mr. Ghosn, speaking at a Viewpoints breakfast in New York City sponsored by The Wall Street Journal.
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Stocks mentioned in the article : RENAULT