Ford Motor Co. and Renault have joined key Volkswagen stakeholder, Lower Saxony, in voicing concern about a French government rescue deal for PSA/Peugeot-Citroen.
Rival automakers are worried that a 7 billion euro ($9.1 billion) French government loan guarantee for PSA's struggling car-loans division will give the automaker an unfair advantage in Europe's slumping car market.
Ford of Europe CEO Stephen Odell said there were questions among some automakers about the legality of PSA's refinancing deal.
"I don't think it's sustainable for support from governments to keep competitive companies going forward, particularly in a protracted downsized economy," Odell told analysts and reporters during a conference call on Thursday.
Ford is closing its Genk, Belgium, and Southampton, England, vehicle plants, as well as a stamping factory in Dagenham near London, to help restore its European operations to profit by 2015. The automaker forecasts a loss of more than $1.5 billion in Europe this year and a similar amount in 2013.
Renault Chief Financial Officer Dominique Thorman said his company will pay "close attention" to state support for PSA.
Renault will seek to ensure that the aid package does not bring unfair advantages to its competitor, Thorman said. ''Once we understand the precise details of the scheme, our interest is that there would not be any distortion of competition," he said during a call with analysts on Thursday.
The French government owns a 15 percent share in Renault.
On Tuesday, the German state of Lower Saxony, Volkswagen's second-largest shareholder, said it opposes French government aid for PSA and indicated that the German government would ask for a European Commission review.
European Union rules don't allow member countries to grant state aid to domestic companies that gives them an unfair advantage over firms in other EU countries.
PSA Chief Financial Officer Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon defended the loan guarantee earlier this week. "It's not state aid, it's state support," he said, adding that PSA would pay for the state guarantee. "It's priced at market values."
Reuters contributed to this report