Heuliez Enters Creditor Protection
“The phase beginning today allows for new contacts, that's a good thing. We're going to start working again on finding and building a new Heuliez,” Luc Chatel, government spokesman and industry minister was quoted as saying by Autonews.
The manufacturer looks ahead to the end of this month, as the country's strategic investment fund (FSI) said it might provide a 10 million euros investment, but only as part of a larger group of investors who are willing help the company raise the 45 million euros it needs to survive. The only one who said it is interested in electricity provider EDF, which also plans to invest around 5 million euros in the company, Chatel said this week.
In addition, Segolene Royal, president of the Poitou-Charentes region, the part of the country where Heuliez operates, said she contacted Renault in an attempt to draw the automobile manufacturer into becoming an industrial partner for the coach-builder. Even more, Royal leads a group of French politicians which lobbies the French government for it to provide the rest of the money needed by Heuliez, saying that thousands of jobs depend on the future of the coachbuilder.
Heuliez also counts on the forecasted success of their Friendly all electric vehicle. Set to begin deliveries in February 2010, the Friendly is expected to sell no less than 10,000 units a year.