French President Francois Hollande said on Saturday that carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen's plan to cut 8,000 jobs was not acceptable and needed to be renegotiated.
"This plan is not acceptable, it must be renegotiated," Hollande said during a televised interview with the TF1 and France 2 channels on Bastille Day, adding: "The state will not leave this be."
Peugeot shocked France on Thursday by announcing the job cuts, sparking union anger and underlining the country's competitiveness problems.
Hollande was elected in May on a promise to put the economy back on track, focusing on growth rather than austerity measures adopted elsewhere in Europe in the face of the eurozone debt crisis.
PSA, France's biggest carmaker and second in Europe to Germany's Volkswagen, said it would cease production at its historic Aulnay site north of Paris which employs 3,000 people, with 1,400 jobs also going at its Rennes plant.
Some 3,600 jobs are to be cut across the corporate structure.
The company employed 100,000 people in France at the end of 2011.
Peugeot said it expected the European market to shrink eight percent this year and had to adjust its business.
France's trade deficit remains high and ministers in Hollande's new government have raised concerns that low competitiveness is stifling the economy and hampering job creation.