Observe, enlighten and decipher the evolution
of consumption patterns in France and abroad
Section 2 - A relationship we cannot live without

An economic sector with great clout

2 minutes of reading
People’s “attachment” to cars seems subject to even greater pragmatism, not to say necessity, when we consider the economic importance of the sector in almost all Observatoire Cetelem countries. This can obviously be measured in terms of the number of vehicles sold, which is the tip of the iceberg for consumers/motorists. However, if we look beyond the major assembly lines, the sheer size of the automotive industry becomes clear when we take into account all the subcontractors automakers use, not only upstream, but also downstream, i.e., the domain of dealers, mechanics, rental companies, etc.


Fig. 26 / Context:


There is a saying in French: when the building trade is doing well, everything does well. Similarly, it is tempting to say that when the automotive industry is firing on all cylinders, the rest follows. In the European Union alone, the sector accounts for 8.5% of total industrial output and directly employs 2.7 million people. The industry has an industrial presence in every European country featured in L’Observatoire Cetelem, as it does in all the other nations. This is a stark reminder of the economic importance of the auto industry and, above all, of the social and human consequences of a crisis like the one we are experiencing.


Fig. 27 / Context:


Fig. 28 / Context:

Sub-section 6
Essential, especially for the day to day
Despite all the criticism cars receive, the fact that motorists appear to think less fondly of their vehicles nowadays, not to mention an economic and environmental context that seems ominous for the
Sub-section 8
A place of refuge
While economic and use value alone could explain why it is so difficult for people to live without cars, the health crisis has highlighted other reasons why this might be the case. In the 2017 survey