You’ve probably already read about the crazy story of the man who’s breaks failed and whose accelerator locked for an hour, sending him 125 mph up the freeway from Paris to the Belgian border, until he finally ran out of gas and drove his car into a ditch. The driver had the amazing forethought to call the police and alert them of his situation, and they coordinated toll booths to keep open the gates so the man could pass through – at 125 mph. I’ve been stuck in Paris traffic before – and I can imagine that was a huge effort to clear those cars out of the way. What you may not have known is that the man, who now swears he will never go near his car again, was driving a Renault – and you’ve got to imagine that Renault is taking a big hit from this.
The company, which recently announced it will be looking to boost its sales in Europe, may have trouble doing so if citizens in its home country keep having incidents like this. This comes just a week after Renault announced that its delayed electric vehicle Zoe will come out in the Spring, but will not be compatible with the standard electric chargers positioned all over Paris and other cities, meaning purchasers of the 13K€ vehicle (20K€ with a 7K€ rebate from the government) will have to spend between 850 and 1300 euros extra to install a ‘wall box’ in their homes.
Renault is not doing nearly as poorly as Peugeot maker PSA, who is systematically closing factories, and just announced
a new CEO(update: there is not a new CEO) to try to save the company, and who may be bailed out by the French government; nonetheless, France is quickly seeing its automobile industry, which once led the industry, disappear.