Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Ruling Socialists 'fear historic defeat'

Read more

DEBATE

Soft on smacking? France slammed for not banning corporal punishment (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Soft on smacking? France slammed for not banning corporal punishment (part 1)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

To smack or not to smack?

Read more

FOCUS

French Muslims refuse to be scapegoats for extremists

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Obama needs to provide real answers to Netanyahu's arguments'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Hollande: 'We have to tear voters away from the National Front'

Read more

FACE-OFF

French local elections: Far-right National Front in pole position

Read more

ENCORE!

Film Show: 'Citizen Four', 'The Circle' and 'Wolf Totem'

Read more

Business

Coca-Cola defends 'French way' in row with US tycoon

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-02-27

The CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises in France has come to the rescue of France's industry minister following a spat between a US tyre magnate who claimed that French workers were too expensive and only worked three hours a day.

The CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises, the largest non-alcoholic beverage manufacturer in France, has waded into a transatlantic row between France's Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Montebourg and US tyre tycoon Maurice Taylor, who claimed that French workers were too expensive and only worked three hours a day. 

Tristan Farabet, who heads Coca-Cola’s French operations, appeared to defend Montebourg, telling the minister in a letter that the soft drink giant “was happy to invest in France, for over 90 years”.

“[Coca-Cola] hopes to more actively promote the attractiveness of the French territory to foreign companies,” Farabet wrote, making direct reference to a verbal dispute that began last week.

His letter was made public by the Le Monde daily on Tuesday, and confirmed by Coca-Cola and ministry spokesmen.

Taylor vs. Montebourg

A very public tit-for-tat verbal joust began on February 20, when Taylor wrote Montebourg a letter blasting French unions and work culture, where employees allegedly worked “just three hours a day”.

The angry letter outlined why Taylor’s Titan tyre group would not be re-entering negotiations to buy an insolvent plant in the city of Amiens in northern France.

Montebourg responded by calling Taylor’s ideas “extremist” and “insulting” and by threatening to ramp up inspections on all Titan tyres entering the country.

In turn, Taylor called Montebourt an “imbecile” on a French radio show on February 26.

Springing to Montebourg’s side this week, Coca-Cola’s Farabet said his company was planning on investing an additional 66 million euros in France in 2013 in order to develop its five local plants.

Date created : 2013-02-26

  • FRANCE

    France slams ‘extremist’ Titan CEO over Goodyear slur

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    US tyre boss mocks ‘crazy’ French unions

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Goodyear to close tyre plant in northern France

    Read more

COMMENT(S)