Parked trucks

The Body builders and Manufacturers of the French Bodywork Federation on the frontline

According to Patrick Cholton, Chairman of the French Bodywork Federation (FFC), the primary mission of the Federation’s members today is to produce and maintain vehicles that transport food and medical equipment.

More than half of the FFC’s members are staying open for business and are on the frontline in response to the public health crisis sweeping the world.

Since the beginning of the epidemic, the federation’s three branches (manufacturers, repairers, OEMs) have displayed their unity and commitment, working tirelessly to support members in organising their business continuity and helping them understand the consequences of published decrees and ministerial orders.

According to Patrick Cholton, the FFC’s members are well and truly on the frontline in that they are out in force not only to deliver the vehicles that are essential today, but also to service them and maintain their roadworthiness in these emergency circumstances.

The aftersales service sections of more than half of the country’s body builders and manufacturers are still operating, despite the shortage of masks and hand sanitizer for employees. Indeed, according to the Federation, the Bodybuilder-Manufacturer branch alone (20,000 employees) would need one million masks every two weeks. This figure was highlighted by the FFC in a letter to the Prime Minister in which it emphasised the strategic role of the commercial and urban vehicle industry, and, through the voice of its Chairman, requested that a mask order platform be set up for the different strategic industrial sectors.

The supply of spare parts, notably that of accessories and internal fixtures, is another major difficulty that has arisen since the beginning of the outbreak, since the overwhelming majority of supplies are imported from either China or Italy.

The Federation Chairman is nonetheless looking towards the post-Covid-19 period and has encouraged the sector to maintain a minimal service so as to guarantee a smooth recovery whilst maintaining the strictest health and safety conditions “We must open or reopen our businesses in maximum safety. I hope to see exemplary unity within the sector.”

The truck industrial sector, initiated under the impetus of the FFC in November 2018 during the summit of the same name “remains and shall continue to remain the spearhead.” 

Excerpts from an interview conducted by Hervé Rébillon for TRM 24