The regional automobile industry under review

Automotive industry

The results of Centréco’s study of the regional automobile industry were revealed last Tuesday at the Matra Automobile Museum in Romorantin (Loir-et-Cher department), with some 70 economic actors in attendance. Levers of growth, obstacles and issues involved were also discussed, with contributions from regional enterprises.

Marie-Madeleine MAILOT, CENTRECO's chairwoman , started off by reminding those present of the automobile sector’s importance in the Centre-Loire Valley Region.

With close to 400 establishments and over 29,000 employees, the sector is the Region’s leading industrial employer, organised around world-famous parts manufacturers and numerous subcontractors. And although they may have been hit hard by the economic crisis, a good many regional enterprises have kept up their policies on investment in innovation and have managed to find levers of growth to perpetuate their activities in the Region.



Sabrina ROUSSEAU, who wrote the CENTRECO study on the regional automobile industry, then presented a profile of the global automobile market, currently expanding, dominated by a few major manufacturers, and kept up to par by emerging countries. A focus on the sector at national level showed that production had been falling regularly for fifteen years but began to show signs of recovery in 2014.  


In the Centre-Loire Valley Region, the automobile industry is largely composed of VSEs and SMEs, and concentrates on subcontracting. Most of its workforce is based north of the Loire (Loiret and Indre-et-Loire account for 47.7% of the regional sector’s jobs).
Nonetheless, the industry includes such well-known parts manufacturers as Delphi, Valéo, Hutchinson and Faurecia, all of which draw on the wide range of know-how available in the Region: metalwork, mechanical engineering, rubber/plastics expertise, electricity/electronics, etc.
Another regional characteristic is the hold that industrial groups have over the sector (46.3% of regional automobile companies belong to a group). Foreign groups are also very much present, with American (Delphi, TRW…), Swedish (SKF, Sandvik, Seco Tools…), German (Bosch, Leoni Wiring Thyssenkrup…) and Japanese (Ibiden, Koyo Bearings, NGK Spark Plugs…) concerns topping the list.


Finally, a roundtable made up of the following professionals led to discussion on the obstacles and issues facing regional operators:

  • Jean-Luc JACQUOT, Competitiveness Director, Plateforme Filière Automobile Nationale (National Automobile Sector Platform),
  • Dominique CUILLER, R&D Manager, Robert BOSCH Automotive Steering,
  • Philippe FOUCHER, , Regional Affairs Manager, CEA, and
  • Stéphane DRIVON, Industrial Marketing Director, CAILLAU.

Its closeness to the Paris region and its contractors, its high innovation potential, the growth of the global automobile market, a support plan and fund dedicated to sector development all constitute real opportunities for Centre-Loire Valley Region companies. Nevertheless, a number of challenges lie ahead, including tightening up of environmental standards, competition from Asian and East European countries, recruitment problems in the face of upcoming retirements, and preparation for the arrival of the “vehicle of the future” (electric, hydrogen-powered, hybrid, etc.).




View the Centre-Loire Valley Region automobile industry summary sheet online.


Participants in the event, which was held at one of the regional automobile sector’s most emblematic venues, had the opportunity to visit the exhibition devoted to the high-prestige FERRARI brand.

Open until 15 November this year at the Matra Museum, Romorantin.




© Centreco - Réalisation par Atmedia Communication