January 19, 2018 / 10:29 AM / in 9 months

French minister to meet Bosch's chief over fate of diesel injectors plant

PARIS (Reuters) - French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire will hold talks with Bosch ROBG.UL Chief Executive Volkmar Denner next week to address concerns about the future of the company’s diesel injectors factory in the southern city of Rodez.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire attends a news conference after a meeting about Lactalis baby milk contamination scandal at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris, France, January 12, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

The meeting, scheduled for Monday, comes as the French automotive industry and its suppliers contend with a drop demand for diesel vehicles.

The Rodez plant, which employs about 1,600 people, is heavily exposed to the diesel downturn.

“I’ll make him (Denner) two requests: the first is that he makes a new investment on one of the two production lines ... the second thing I’d like to obtain from him is a diversification of the activity,” Le Maire said on the Europe 1 radio station.

Sales of diesel cars have been undermined by the Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) 2015 emissions scandal, driving a shift in consumers’ focus from fuel efficiency to cleaner vehicles.

“We can see that the diesel sector is in the midst of a revolution, it’s 12,000 direct jobs in France, it’s huge,” said Le Maire, adding that he would also seek support from French carmakers Renault (RENA.PA) and PSA (PEUP.PA).

Renault did not immediately reply to a request seeking comment. A spokesman for PSA said the group did not source injectors from the Bosch factory in Rodez.

Reporting by Gilles Guillaume; Writing by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by David Goodman

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