European chief Fleming wants "industrial policy" to help in current crisis

Ford of Europe boss John Fleming has called on the European Union to show "joined-up thinking" in response to the car industry crisis.

"The EU needs to understand we need an industrial policy," Fleming told Autocar. "This is no time for nationalism and protectionism," he added, in a thinly veiled attack on French bailouts of Renault and PSA.

Fleming's formula for pan-European action includes EU-wide scrappage laws, which have done a lot to stimulate the German car market. He also called upon action to help free up credit available to dealers and customers.

Ford's boss however wouldn't be drawn on whether the company would suffer any more job losses, stating only that he wanted a situation where demand for Ford cars exceeds supply.

However, he did promise that the current situation would not mean cancelling planned models. "Some (future) models are being slowed down but we're not cutting investments," he said.

Chas Hallett

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