PARIS (AFP)-The president of French car manufacturer Citroen has announced that his firm will begin selling "pre-burned" cars to the European market, to prevent them from being torched by immigrant arsonists.
"We are taking this step reluctantly, but our customers are insisting on it," said Claude LeFeu, president of the car giant. "Our 2006 model line is now being incinerated, but our engineers and inspectors will ensure that each vehicle will still operate and pass government inspections."
The car company is reacting to dismayed commuters who have been irked at finding their vehicles a smoldering wreck in the morning in the streets around Paris and in hundreds of other French and other European towns.
"Mon Dieu, but how can I drive to travaille when my petit Citroen is all flamebe?" asked Sonia Grossjambe one morning after the arson began as she stood before her ruined car. "Why can't I buy a pre-burned voiture to prevent such a chere tragedy from re-occurring? I must get to work somehow. Sacre bleu! C'est frommage!"
It is exactly that sort of sentiment that forced Citroen and other French and European car makers to begin setting fire to their new cars while they are on the assembly line.
"We've had to hire dozens of pyromaniacs to light the cars in the factory," admitted LeFeu. "In some cases, we've hired the original arsonists to do the job. That gives them jobs too, and is making everybody happy."
The French government has endorsed the project, and is even offering apprenticeship programs now for unemployed immigrants on how to safely set fire to factory cars as the final step in the assembly line.
The government has also eased vehicle standards to allow the often unsightly torched cars to be driven throughout France. It has also appealed to the European Union to allow the scorched cars to cross national borders.
American and eastern car makers are also about to release lines of pre-burned cars for the European market and wherever else they are needed.
Toyota is offering a pre-burned Prius, and Honda now sells a pre-burned Civic.
Local body shops and car parts companies are also offering do-it-yourself kits for car-owners to scorch their vehicles to give a comfortable, incinerated look. These initiatives have the endorsement of the European insurance industry.