Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sarkozy approves bailout of French auto industry; total package exceeds worth of auto-makers exponentially

With the global economy on the decline, French President Nicolas Sarkozy approved the dispersal of bailout funds to the nation’s two largest automobile manufacturers: Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroen. Although many expected such a bailout to come, most are shocked at the whopping €6.5 billion being given to these companies. The total value of the companies combined only comes to about €1.3 million.

“We were flabbergasted,” said Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault, “because we thought we would only be getting a nudge. I don’t think Sarkozy realized how cheap our crappy little coupes really are!”

Ghosn explained that a standard Renault two-door, 3-cylindar vehicle might cost only €503 to manufacture, and that the true market value for the sale of the vehicle may get as high as double the cost. “That would be on a good day,” said Ghosn. “More often than not, car buyers are smart and know that no one in his right mind would pay full price for a Renault. “

The bailout does come with some strings attached. Sarkozy is mandating that the two manufacturers use a good chunk of the money to develop clean technology, including alternative energy engines, hybrids and other electrical motors.

“This is where things will get really tricky,” stammers Christian Streiff, CEO of PSA Peugeot Citroen. “I mean… our cars are built with so little that the engine already gets something like 3-4 months to the gallon. That’s the only thing that entices people to buy these lemons in the first place! How can you get any greener than that? We’ve been able to be environmentally friendly by being cheapskates. Now Sarkozy wants us to be environmentally friendlier by shelling out loads of money? I see disaster ahead.”

The automobile companies must quickly find out how to use the funds or else they will lose a good portion of the promised total. Ghosn stated that one of the first targets of the bailout money will be the union workers. He plans to give them triple their salaries this year.

“It’s mostly just to shut them up,” Ghosn said. “And what do I care, it’s free money, right? Ever heard a French protest? Our language does not lend itself to expressing anger very well, so the whole thing just sounds like a chorus of whiney felines. Silencing that is worth millions to me.”

Streiff had other ideas for his cut of the money. Number one on his agenda: buy a heap of shares in Toyota, Honda and Hyundai.

“Let’s be realistic for a moment,” said Streiff, wiping sweat from his forehead. “European and American cars aren’t going to make it through the winter. I’m hightailing it outta here. Sarkozy wants 6% interest on this ‘bailout’, and the ONLY way we can pay that back is to give the money to the Japanese and Koreans and let them do what they do best.”

Sarkozy is hopeful that the bailout will return France to its former Napoleonic glory.

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