Approaching the French industry requires a good understanding of the local technical standards.
A product manufactured in Germany and widely sold over this market will not necessarily meet the technical specification of the French market. A German company, used to sell its commodities to German car manufacturers, will have to obtain a technical release from the French car manufacturers according to their own specification, which are different, and not necessarily lower.
Interestingly, since the takeover of Opel by Group PSA, the technical specifications are now those of Group PSA. Former Opel suppliers had to requalify all their products according to this new standard.
Here is the explanation: the French industry sector is based on large companies, formerly state owned, with worldwide activities. With a view of standardisation and quality improvement, they wrote technical specifications which have been declined throughout the French industry sector over the years. Since the European integration, many French standards have been harmonised within Europe. However, large companies, as the automotive car manufacturers, keep on using their home product technical specification. New suppliers must comply with these specifications and qualify their products accordingly.
We advise our clients to start getting knowledge about these specific French standards and evaluate the technical compliance of their product.