PARIS -- The French government will present a plan before the end of the year to help the car industry cope with a tax hike on diesel, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said.
Concerned about pollution, the French government has been trying to reduce the number of cars running on diesel in France, where until recently most cars were sold with diesel engines.
The 2018 draft budget presented on Wednesday calls for diesel tax to be increased by 2.6 euro cents per liter annually for four years, bringing it in line with gasoline and further undermining diesel's appeal to consumers.
Addressing the French parliament's finance committee on Wednesday, Le Maire said the industry plan would protect suppliers of diesel technology and their thousands of jobs from the effects of the tax increase, without giving further details.
Through August, diesel's market share in France fell to 47.8 percent, from 52.7 percent, while gasoline-engine share rose to 47.3 percent from 43.4 percent in the same period, according to data from the industry association CCFA.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report