Another bad break for Renault as man drives uncontrollably from Paris to the Belgian border at 125 mph


speed_lYou’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.

4 Responses

  1. sfermigier

    “You’ve probably already read about the crazy story of the man who’s [sic] breaks failed and who’s [sic] accelerator locked for an hour”

    -> No, I haven’t. Any link to a genuine fact-checked article ? (News of the World doesn’t count).

    “[PSA] just announced a new CEO to try to save the company”

    -> No, they haven’t. They have just announced the opposite, that they are keeping their current CEO (see for instance).

  2. Yoann Maingon

    Same reaction as Stefane! First I find it strange that it is covered by a tech blog and then like stefane I’ve heard that Varin was maintained and announced to get back to a balanced FY at the end of next year.

    For Renault, do you know that they build the Citan ? which is a Kangoo with a Mercedes logo. Ok it might be produced in slovenia but what is the topic? French car manufacturers or car manufactured in France? then, let’s add Toyota and Smart in the discussion.

    Car industry is one of the most difficult industry. It would be nice to stop slapping our car industry for a while.

    • Liam Boogar


      Responded to Stefane below – We occasionally cover the Automobile industry when it is related to Innovative Technology. In this case, it is in reference to Renault (and Peugeot’s) continual ‘bad breaks” when it comes to getting passed their sordid situation.

      To answer your second question, we cover the French Market, whether that be international tech companies operating in France or French tech startups/companies.

      For the third comment: We don’t “slap around” industries – we take a look at what is happening in them and provide insight and opinion for our readers, so that they can answer the “why” questions: “Why is this bad for Renault? Why is this important? Why should I be reading about this? Why should Renault be worried?”

      Hope I answered your Why questions.

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