The French are known for making things. Cheeses. Wines. Peugeots. And tires. Michelin is one of the largest tire manufacturing concerns in the world, just churning out the circular rubbery things.
Titan is also a tire company, but not a French one. Titan CEO Maurice Taylor was invited to buy a tire factory in France by industry minister Arnaud Montebourg, and his response (with official letterhead, natch) is quintessentially American, and quintessentially hilarious. Choice quotes include:
Sir, your letter states you want Titan to start a discussion. How stupid do you think we are? Titan is the one with the money and the talent to produce tires. And what does the crazy union have? The French government.
Titan is going to buy a Chinese tire company or an Indian one, pay less than one Euro per hour and ship all the tires France needs. You can keep the so-called workers. Titan has no interest in the Amien North factory.
I like how he calls him “sir.”