[translation] " ... its technical definition and industrial organization has, since the beginning, been designed with the goal of minimizing development and operations costs: instead of being a cutting edge technology launcher, the Falcon 9 uses proven technology engines that were easy to develop and inexpensive to industrialize/mass produce, and there are very few subcontractors involved in launcher construction, which reduces production costs." ...
"... It is clear that today, the USA are challenging us to compete with them by showing us the way with a system that puts into practice all those recommendations. And while, for many years, we feared competition from emerging economies with their cheap labor, competition is instead coming from the USA and their ability to innovate and to challenge themselves.
Europe's space launch supremacy was hardwon/very expensive. Ariane 5 is the best launcher in the world, due to its reliability, conquering launch after launch since 2003, and it will remain the best since Europe has decided to support its operation and its adaptations to the evolving market. As such, we must react to SpaceX's challenge and move forth with the development of Ariane 6. The goal isn't to make yet another Ariane launcher, but rather to reinvent Ariane development by taking the same turn that IT did in the 70s and SpaceX is taking now. This is the lesson we learn from the Californian garages."
Keith's update: This is really kinda funny - its like a cheese company noticing that everyone is now buying salads and one day they say "let's convert from cheese to salads" - like its THAT easy - and yet they are aways going to be cheese people at heart. Why does this article (i.e. the English translation thereof) make me think of "Talladega Nights"? And why did Elon Musk fly a wheel of French Le Brouere cheese on the first Dragon flight to ISS? Just sayin'.