Maurice Taylor, chief executive of Titan International, says he won't take over a plant in France because of its "crazy" unions.
The company makes tires for agricultural and other vehicles. France approached him about taking over a plant that Goodyear is closing, but he rejected the idea in no uncertain terms.
Taylor gave his response in a letter to France's industry minister, which was published in a French business daily.
"How stupid do you think we are?" Taylor asked. "I have visited that factory a couple of times. The French workforce gets paid high wages but only works for three hours."
"They get one hour for breaks and lunch, they talk for three and they work for three. I told this to the French union workers to their faces. They told me that's the French way!" he said.
France 24 News Service reported that Taylor also said the French manufacturing sector is doomed unless it deals with its unions and competition from Asia.
France's industry minister responded by calling Taylor's remarks "extreme" and "insulting."