From his upstairs office, Jerome Frantz can hear the delivery trucks as they rumble into the yard of the auto parts business his grandfather founded 90 years ago.
In better times, each day Frantz would have as many as 60 big trucks pulling into the forecourt of Frantz Electrolyse just outside Paris, loaded with metal parts to be heat treated and coated in a protective covering.
But demand for auto parts fluctuates with the fortunes of the auto industry including major customers such as Renault SA and PSA Peugeot Citroen SA — and then with little warning. The summer was weak, but September and October saw a slight pickup, with as many as 35 trucks rolling up each day.
Now Frantz is counting only 25 on a good day.
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