Arnaud Montebourg (pictured), French Minister of Industrial Recovery, was recently the target of a rather despicable slur at the hands of Mitsubishi France's leader, Jean-Claude Debard.

Frustrated by Montebourg's attempts to encourage the purchase of lower emitting vehicles and discourage use of high-emission vehicles – by way of tax breaks and tax hikes, respectively – Debard reportedly used the occasion of a new product launch to call the minister "stupid," a "mental case" and a "retard" before members of the media. Here's the full quote, as reported by the French newspaper La Provence by way of The Telegraph:

"This mental case, this retard, increases ecological taxes, reduces the speed motorists can go on Paris' ring road and ruins the life of motorists from all social origins all suffer as a result of him. He is stupid and understands nothing, you can quote me on that."

And quote him they did, it seems.

Mitsubishi's Debard may have legitimate points to make about the French tax structure's effect on the automotive sector in that country, but finding a more level-headed way to get his thoughts across to the media would probably be a more effective strategy if he wants people to take him seriously. His use of the word "retard" reminds of a recent similar statement by American political pundit Ann Coulter that triggered a firestorm of criticism. The response to that tweet, quite eloquently answered by John Franklin Stephens of the Special Olympics, might serve as recommended reading for Debard, as well.

No word on what, if any, reaction the Japanese automaker has to Debard's statements.

UPDATE: According to a new report by La Province, Montebourg has resigned effective immediately and Mitsubishi has issued an apology. Thanks for the update tip, Daniel!


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  • 71 Comments
      Pj Taintz
      • 2 Years Ago
      sick of people resigning for being truthful, and non politically correct.
      Gator
      • 2 Years Ago
      I like this guy. He is a retard, finally someone with some balls.
      ThomasP
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wait.... the Minister of Industrial Recovery resigned?!?
      Peter
      • 2 Years Ago
      Debard for President ! ...I mean of Mitsubishi Motors offcourse ! It is clear the guy knows what he is talking about. Mitsubishi designs would improve immediately and the steady decline of the company stopped
      IBx27
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's not as though he had much of a future at a company like mitsu anyway, whose own brass recently wondered out loud why anybody would even buy one. He speaks truth either way.
      PatrickH
      • 2 Years Ago
      Its a shame that he speaks his mind and has to resign. Nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade and France is so f*cked its not even funny.
      Ducman69
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh Jesus Christ Autoblog, give me a break. This politically correct over-sensitive crap has to end. It was obviously not meant literally nor directed at someone with a handicap, even a retard knows that.
      Ryan
      • 2 Years Ago
      It sounds like the French have a good guy working for them, and he will improve the lives of all the citizens instead of just the motorists. It's called not being selfish. Everyone would have to breathe the polluted air coming from these inefficient gas cars burning more gas to drive a few mph faster. (And the like from the Green site isn't working, so if I get downvoted, I know why)
        The Bear - 江戸羆
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ryan
        You know what really will happen? France will have to be bailed out, like Greece. Holland's "administration" is a collection of idiots who will ruin the country. If you like such things so much, move to Europe. Enjoy the criminally high taxes and faltering social systems.
      EV News
      • 2 Years Ago
      We need more blokes like this... Call a spade a spade and not conforming to bland political correctness. His remarks are certainly gaining the press attention they were designed to attract. The entire world is drowning under the weight of ever more petty laws created by seemingly out-of-control public servants! For all we know these comments are 100% accurate, it's certainly not impossible to believe given the routine stupidity of the current intrusive level of Nanny State controls we are subjected to.
      • 2 Years Ago
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