Socialist France Responds To Titan CEO, Hilarity Ensues

Tyler Durden's picture


Presented without any comment (see original Titan letter here), and google translated to add Babel fishing insult to an already injurious, or is that hilarious, exchange between a hard core capitalist and a socialist... perfect ignorance, admiration of Obama, trade tariff threats, oh, and don't mention the war.

From Arnaud Montebourg,



Your extremely insulting words also testify perfect ignorance of what our country is France, its key strengths, such as its world-renowned attractiveness and its relationship with the United States of America.


France has the pride to welcome on its soil over 20,000 foreign companies representing nearly two million jobs, a third of its industrial exports, 20% of private research and development and 25% of industrial employment. Each year, there are 700 decisions of locating foreign investment and job creators of value in France. And this strong attractiveness does not weaken, on the contrary from year to year, it is getting stronger.


Within these foreign investments, the United States occupied the first place. 4200 subsidiaries of U.S. companies employ nearly 500,000 people. The presence of U.S. companies in France is very old: Haviland since 1842 IBM since 1914 Coca-Cola since 1933, General Electric since 1974. And many others. These links are from year to year renewed: in 2012, companies like Massey Ferguson, Mars Chocolate, or 3M chose to increase their presence in France.


What are the decisive factors in the choice of location? Foreign companies in France are seeking quality infrastructure, a lifestyle appreciate an energy amongst the most competitive in Europe, and a very favorable environment to research and innovation. But most importantly, away from this your comments are ridiculous and derogatory, all these companies know and appreciate the quality and productivity of the workforce French, commitment, knowledge, talent and skills of workers French.


To amplify the attractiveness, the French government has recently taken measures 35 in the National Pact for growth, competitiveness and employment. Among them, the tax credit for competitiveness and employment allege coats of 6% wage firms between 1 and 2.5 SMIC. In addition, the social partners have reached an agreement on the securisation employment, which illustrates the quality of social dialogue in France and the importance that the government attaches to which I belong.


Can I remind you that Titan, the business you run is 20 times smaller than Michelin, a French leader in technology our international influence, and 35 times less profitable? That is to say how a Titan could learn and gain enormously from a French settlement.


France is especially proud and happy to welcome American investment between our two countries are linked by an old friendship and passionate. Moms do you know what makes La Fayette to the United States of America? For our part, we French will never forget the sacrifice of young American soldiers on the beaches of Normandy to deliver us from Nazism in 1944. And since you choose to criticize your own country in the letter that you send me, I must tell you how the French government admire the policy implemented by President Obama. As Minister for Industry, I am particularly sensitive to actions in favor of the relocation of manufacturing jobs in the United States and radical innovation. It is our policy that even some present with the parent inspired by your President.


You mention your intention to exploit the labor of some countries to flood our markets. I must tell you that this calculation wrong and short-term and will sooner or later face a justified reaction (just as in the US). This is already the case in France with allies increasingly numerous in the Union European arguing for reciprocity of exchanges and organize against dumping. In the meantime, rest assured you can count on me to monitor, by the competent services of the French government with redoubled zeal, the importation of your tires. They will ensure compliance with all standards particularly applicable materials social, environmental and technical.


I beg you to accept, Sir, the assurances of my highest.

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Thu, 02/21/2013 - 10:57 | 3263130 The Juggernaut
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Foreign investments... from the American tax payers.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 10:58 | 3263142 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



You don't seem to get it....we're giving you a chance to send us your money.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 11:10 | 3263196 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I need me some new Titans.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 11:26 | 3263275 TerminalDebt
TerminalDebt's picture

Did he say Michelin is 20times bigger and 35 times less profitable?

I couldn't tell, his babelfish is on coffee break.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 11:47 | 3263373 eatthebanksters
eatthebanksters's picture

Right out of 'Atas Shrugged.' response to the facts laid out by the CEO of Titan, pure party line bullshit and I love the threats at the end. Wow...this asshole wants good and inexpensive products for his people doesn't he.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 11:55 | 3263446 Silver Bully
Silver Bully's picture

So what is he saying France will do . . . nationalize Titan? Hilarious. This is why the company is shutting the plant down. If the French industry minister thinks Michelin is chomping at the bit to hire those 3 hour a day workers, I have a bridge made of cheese flowing over a river of wine for sale . . . cheap.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 12:15 | 3263537 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

still, Maurice got smacked down.  not saying LePew is right, but writing an open letter to the finance minister of France dissing the whole workforce is stupid.  what did he think would happen?  The French might be lazy but everyone knows Michelin and nobody knows Titan, so he got the yippy dog treatment.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 12:55 | 3263628 SillySalesmanQu...
SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

Dear Titan,   I fart in your general direction....

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 14:09 | 3264027 New England Patriot
New England Patriot's picture

Trade war.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 20:39 | 3268791 phyuckyiu
phyuckyiu's picture

Did he really just try and triangulate how the last era of non-self absorbed Americans dying on their shores 70 years ago relates to buying a failed business in France with a failed workforce? That's reaching pretty deep in the b.s. bag.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 13:14 | 3263798 eatthebanksters
eatthebanksters's picture

BK...why put lipstick on that pig? It's time to start calling out the numbnuts in front of their''s the one thing they fear the most.  Think about it, growth is the only thing that wins elections and keeps governments in power...if things slow down its like taking away a kids desert, he's pissed but he can lve with it.  Right now the people that for so long have lived off the backs of others are about to be told that not only is there no desert, but the cupboards are empty and there is not enough to eat.  That's going to get some people real pissed off...governments fall on that kind of shit!

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 13:38 | 3263882 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

+1 BKB.  Although, the bottom line is that Le Travailleur Average Francais gets fired up and cuts his break from an hour-fifteen, to an hour-ten, on patriotic nationalism.  Expect a palpable bump in GDP.  Well played, French Minister of Cheese-Eating Break Time, well played.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 14:57 | 3264158 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

Google Babelish bubbling is no translation. Don`t torture
us with this word garbage google spits out TD. Even if you
think it is just a junk government BS reply full of shit
please don`t spew that shitty translation into our reading
faces !

You might feel unappreciated for the exceptional wordsmith
you are but why at the same time encourage sloppy reading and comprehension skills by posting language garbage for
the real thing ? Do you look down on your readers and commentators so much as you hand this down with : "take that" ? Feel free to post translanguagefied BS on YOUR
site, you are the boss and we wipe off all that language
vomit from our faces.

P.S. You have enough of an international audience and potential volunteers to have
everything properly translated, some of us multiple double
agents in between languages...

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 16:04 | 3264467 OpenThePodBayDoorHAL
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For all the joking, the French are not 100% wrong. They have the same per capita productivity as the US. They have the same kinds of deficits as the US. But they have a much better deal for those who live there. Health care is actually affordable and may be the best quality in the world. University costs almost nothing. Working conditions and worker's rights are much better than the US. The citizen enjoys the best infrastructure, from highways to bridges to cheap ubiquitous rail. And it's an outstandingly beautiful place.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 19:30 | 3268578 jwoop66
jwoop66's picture

Also!  Plenty of that AWESOME European Apartment housing!

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 16:21 | 3264573 nofluer
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but everyone knows Michelin

Yeah... *I* sure do! 40 years ago they were great tires. Expensive, but worth the extra money. Don't know what happened, but the last Michelins I bought were crap. Two our of four were DOA on the car and had to be replaced. Now I'll buy Chinese or Mexican (does Mexico MAKE tires?) or some other brand. If I'm going to get crap, why pay high prices for it? Actually... I just went out and looked - I have Hankook tires (S Korean) on both truck and car.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 17:06 | 3264765 NihilistZero
NihilistZero's picture

"...everyone knows Michelin and nobody knows Titan..."


Not anymore.  What's that saying about any publicity being good publicity?

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 14:58 | 3264178 Opinionated Ass
Opinionated Ass's picture

And now we have proof that governments apply regulations differently depending on whether you're a friend or enemy. Sure we all surmised this happens a lot, but shocking to see it confirmed in writing from a top official.

rest assured you can count on me to monitor, by the competent services of the French government with redoubled zeal, the importation of your tires.

But Obamacare will be even-handed, right?

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 21:34 | 3265535 msamour
msamour's picture

So you agree it's better to buy a factory in China, and India, treat the workers like slave, then dump the market with cheap potentially dangerous tires? Opinions around here have definitely been warped of late.


And forget about the Frech guy. Who gives a shit about French people. What I really care about, is that no one seems to have noticed a rep from an American Corporation is telling the entire world how they are screwing over their own people. If they want to do that to france, you can bet your ass they are doing it in the US. Wake up people.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 11:48 | 3263388 toys for tits
toys for tits's picture



I guess it's saying something that he didn't surrender.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 11:56 | 3263451 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

This is what they occupy their time with when they're not eating cheese, surrendering, or farting in your general direction...

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 12:10 | 3263516 Dealyer Turdin
Dealyer Turdin's picture

It starts with them telling Titan to surrender... but we all know how it ends.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 12:18 | 3263562 Navymugsy
Navymugsy's picture

But I did hear a rifle falling to the ground in the distance.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 12:32 | 3263615 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

Sounds like the French dude is all oui-oui'd up.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 12:39 | 3263639 whotookmyalias
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LOL, I am willing to offer my services of rewriting his future correspondence into proper English for a mere 6 figures, a prepaid Paris apartment on Ile St Louis, and a car allowance.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 18:16 | 3264996 thisandthat
thisandthat's picture

No, he says Titan is 20 times smaller and 35 times less profitable than Michelin.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 11:26 | 3263277 zuuma
zuuma's picture

"France is especially proud and happy to welcome American investment between our two countries are linked by an old friendship and passionate."

Except,of course, when it's politically expedient to obstruct, hinder, or embarrass the good 'ol USA. Particularly during a Republican administration.

"For our part, we French will never forget the sacrifice of young American soldiers on the beaches of Normandy to deliver us from Nazism in 1944."

I'd say it's pretty much forgotten by everyone in France under 70.

Escpecially the fine French citizens who defaced and desecrated US Servicemen's graves at the Normandy, recently. And really? Grave desecration? Robbing childern & beating up old folks must have already been crossed off the list.

Someone at the time proposed that the American servicemen & women buried in the Normandy cemetaries be removed and reburied in the USA, where they would receive the care and reverence they deserve. While expensive, I thought that was a terrific idea. Imagine the treatment those graves are going to get when the french economy collapses and scapegoats are needed?


"...I must tell you how the French government admire the policy implemented by President Obama."

Truly NOT a selling point to attract businesses to communist France.


"Your extremely insulting words also testify perfect ignorance of what our country is France, its key strengths, such as its world-renowned attractiveness and its relationship with the United States of America."

No. I'd say we have a pretty decent idea of what that relationship is.

" I beg you to accept, Sir, the assurances of my highest."

Does that actually translate to - "high hard one"? Because that would make sense, here.


Thu, 02/21/2013 - 12:09 | 3263511 CH1
CH1's picture

we French will never forget... the beaches of Normandy" I'd say it's pretty much forgotten by everyone in France under 70.

What's also forgotten is that there were French soldiers attacking the Allies when they arrived in Normandy. That part vanished from the record right away.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 12:19 | 3263573 Sanksion
Sanksion's picture

Come on. Don't let the sad clowns of the political reality show get in the way between french and americans. We share much more than we love to think we're different.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 13:38 | 3263881 destiny
destiny's picture

Ok we got your drift, you don't like france...but may I contradict you, French did not, do not forget D DAY in Normandy, there are sufficient TV programs to ensure that this part of history is known to all and by all.

I agree, the ministry should buy itself a good english translator, the letter wording sucks.   Now, while we appreciate your discontentment, maybe you'll accept a one buck a day job from your good ol american titan cie.


Thu, 02/21/2013 - 14:27 | 3264093 zuuma
zuuma's picture

"Ok we got your drift, you don't like france"

You are mistaken, Monsieur.

Americans don't hate France.

More like they don't care. Or think about it at all.

They neither like nor dislike France. Most Americans couldn't find it on a map.

We're focused on our guns & cheeseburgers. Euro-what?

As for Normandy people remembering, perhaps. It is their neighborhood.

How about Languedoc? Or Dauphine? Or Lorraine? Do they still care? Doubtful.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 15:19 | 3264248 Hacked Economy
Hacked Economy's picture

+1.  This is true.  We Americans certainly don't hate France, and we'd likely go over there to defend her again if necessary (with drones this time, not the lives of our men and women in uniform).  To us, France is neither our best friend nor our hated enemy, but more like the freckled younger sibling who whines and gets in the way when you're trying to get some work done.  You'd always be ready to step in and rescue her from the neighborhood bully, but you'd give her a good slap in the face and a stern lecture for stupidly mouthing off to said-bully in the first place.  Exasperating.

I think most Americans actually can find France on the map, but they consider it "flyover country".  If you're an American, you know what this means...

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 16:29 | 3264624 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

I enjoy their toast and fries.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 00:15 | 3265997 thisandthat
thisandthat's picture

"French" fries are actually belgian.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 00:20 | 3266011 Orly
Orly's picture

Avec mayonnaise.


Thu, 02/21/2013 - 11:28 | 3263286 Canadian Dirtlump
Canadian Dirtlump's picture

He should have summed his letter up ( certainly already a magnum opus, and an intellectual homerun ) with: I FART IN YOUR GENERAL DIRECTION.


With any luck these french pinkos will all be relegated to sexually harrassing tourists in local hotspots like so many other miscreants.


Thu, 02/21/2013 - 12:07 | 3263487 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

It pains me to write it but the surrender monkey could actually learn something from the MBA buffoons (in addition to the definition and characteristics of dumping)...

This whole spat started because Goodyear sees the light of off-shoring jobs to make its European operations more profitable, Michelin is way ahead of Titan in this regard, which is why they are more profitable, initially there were the French colonists who Michelin exploited low cost rubber from, and when the got uppity Michelin transitioned to lower cost materials, just like when the French Unions got uppity Michelin transitioned to lower cost Asians...

As to maintaining "some" presence in France, name any big multinational and they have "a" presence.  This is a basic foundational requirement for ANY tax arb, transfer pricing, or other loophole exploitation strategy.  More important is the nature and function of operations conducted in the French wasteland... Aggregate statistics are misleading when not broken down by sector, industry, or scale.

Service sector jobs integrate well into French society, whereas a manufacturing operation just needs to maintain a beachhead for market access and a spot in line for government largess- the big 4 consulting firms shine in their natural paper pushing glory mindlessly exchanging memos for banknotes (or their digital equivalent) without actually creating any physical goods or wealth.  The labor unions may strive for 3 hrs talking/ 3 hrs work/1 hr lunch, but given the opportunity to match the 4hrs talking/ 2hrs lunch/ 2hrs work of their white-collar countrymen, they would jump at the opportunity.

Even I have looked at hanging out a shingle over there and over paying some fat frog to sit around mind the storefront.  If you export goods from France to the former French colonies the handouts export finance assistance schemes from the French taxpayer beat those offered by the German taxpayers.  If you really want to roll in the .gov gravy and still run a naturally profitable business you can own a Swiss firm, manufacture goods in Germany, transfer them to France, and then export them to the colonies.  But if you have any objection to paying people large sums of money to mindlessly push small piles of paper it's probably better to just avoid expanding a business to France. 

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 15:23 | 3264267 Hacked Economy
Hacked Economy's picture

"surrender monkey"

Love it.  I've used that term myself for years, and I've never heard/seen it used by anyone else until this thread today.  Surrender monkeys...

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 10:55 | 3263132 Zola
Zola's picture

Yep, a socialist french admires Obamao... I really wonder what could go wrong in USSA...

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 11:07 | 3263185 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I really wonder what could go wrong in USSA...

well... if you discount everything THAT ALREADY WENT WRONG.... not a lot actually...

at least I hope for you guys...

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 11:11 | 3263199 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Key phrase "We admire Obamao"  Enough said

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 10:59 | 3263140 Stackers
Stackers's picture

Damn him for wanting to "exploit" all those poor Indians and Chinese by giving them "jobs"

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 12:21 | 3263581 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Don't you GET it? They'd much rather be out in the fields and paddies, picking rice or tea or whatever it is foreign johnnies do all day.

By forcing them to work in factories making things like tyres, you force them to have a higher standard of living, maybe feed and even educate their children. You think they want that?

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 10:58 | 3263143 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Can I remind you that Titan, the business you run is 20 times smaller than Michelin, a French leader in technology our international influence, and 35 times less profitable?

On a net margin basis - really?

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 11:00 | 3263150 Jayda1850
Jayda1850's picture

need to buy michelin cds.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 11:28 | 3263290 Mercury
Mercury's picture

If tire manufacturing and France are such a wonderful fit:
1) why is Goodyear bailing?
2) why isn’t Michelin bidding?

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 11:47 | 3263380 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Euro based companies have heavy labor representation on the board of directors.  Any profits are quickly redistributed, stolen, rehypothecated..., take your choice. 

That's why there are so many great Euro growth stocks..., not.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 12:33 | 3263617 SilverMaples
SilverMaples's picture

France clearly needs a future paper market for tires, ... it's imperative that the price of such a critical commodity is left open to "price discovery"!

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 10:58 | 3263144 EmileLargo
EmileLargo's picture

French "work ethic"? Isn't that a contradiction in terms?

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 11:22 | 3263257 Steve in Greensboro
Steve in Greensboro's picture

Like "competent government".

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