BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) — European Union regulators Tuesday extended a probe into euro96 million (US$140 million) that France plans to grant PSA Peugeot-Citroen to develop a hybrid diesel car.
The European Commission wants to make sure that the aid does not break EU rules on state subsidies. ''The Commission has doubts whether Peugeot-Citroen and its partners really need this aid to produce less-polluting cars,'' the EU's executive body said in a statement.
France plans to grant the money to Europe's second-biggest car maker and 16 partners as part of total research and development costs of euro470 million (US$685 million) to develop the low-fuel vehicle.
''The Commission strongly supports the development of more environmentally friendly cars,'' said EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes. ''However, we have to ensure that the aid is not spent on R&D that would have been carried out by Peugeot-Citroen in any event, or which its competitors may carry out without state aid.''