On this day in auto history - November 17th

Tue 17th Nov 2020

It was on this day in 1986 that the motor industry was shocked by the brutal assignation of Georges Besse, the CEO of Renault.

The respected 58-year-old died outside his Paris home after he was shot in the head and chest by two attackers on motorbikes after emerging from his chauffeur-driven vehicle.

Soon afterwards the radical anti-capitalist group, Action Directe, claimed responsibility for his killing, stating the murder was in retaliation for his reforms of the loss-making state-owned company, which had involved the laying off of 21,000 workers during his first 18 months in office.

The following year, two women - Nathalie Menignon and Joelle Aubron - were charged with Besse’s murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Following the assassination, Renault’s famous car assembly plant in the northern French town of Douai was re-named in honour of Besse.