Macron unveils 8 bn euro French auto rescue

Emmanuel Macron unveils 8 billion euro French auto rescue, champions electric cars

French President Emmanuel Macron. (Reuters photo)

President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday announced an eight billion euro ($8.8 billion) plan to revive France's auto industry by making it the European leader in electric cars, boosting a sector brought to its knees by the coronavirus.

Macron said the package would include one billion euros in subsidies to encourage purchases of electric and hybrid cars and set a target of France producing a million green cars annually by 2025.

The "historic" intervention will aim to turn France's rechargeable car industry into Europe's biggest, the president said.

Visiting a car factory in Etaples in northern France, Macron said his government would seek to boost flagging customer demand with a subsidy of 7,000 euros for each individual buying an electric car, 5,000 for each company purchase, and 2,000 per hybrid rechargeable car.

Starting June 1, there would also be an aid of 3,000 euros for converting from a petrol-fuelled car to a less-polluting one -- and as much as 5,000 euros to upgrade to an electric vehicle, the president said.

He said that some three-quarters of French people would be eligible for the incentives.

"In total, the state will provide a bit more than 8 billion euros in aid to the sector," said Macron.