Steane Klose | Jan 21, 2009

After having already ponied up around 1.3 billion Euros, the French government is considering providing additional aid to its automotive industry to the tune of five or six billion Euros.

The government is keen to ensure that factories operating on French soil continue to do so despite these troubled economic times.

President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is said to be on the brink of releasing assistance plans to the industry, has confirmed his government's intent:

"Our effort in favour of manufacturers will be massive. What are we talking about? Sums of the order of five or six billion Euros," he said.

In a meeting attended by industry leaders and government officials, Renault Boss and President of the European Carmakers Association, Carlos Ghosn explained that auto manufacturers are facing the worst crisis seen since the Great Depression and in "urgent need" of liquidity.

Mr Ghosn also suggested that lower taxes could help ease slowing sales and an economy sliding deeper into recession.

Financial aid packages to the sector are becoming increasingly common. Most governments see it as money well spent (though some tax-payers struggle with the notion). The potential losses to already weakened economies that would result from an automotive industry collapse, are almost incalculable.

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