PSA/Peugeot-Citroen may close its Aulnay plant in France as early as September as strikes continue to disrupt production, two sources told Bloomberg News. In 2012, PSA already outlined plans to halt manufacturing operations at its Aulnay site at an unspecified time in 2014 as part of a reorganization targeted at returning the carmaker to profit as the European vehicle market declines.
PSA posted a EUR576 million ($753 million) operating loss in 2012. PSA’s Aulnay plant employs around 3,300 full-time workers and produces the Citroen C3 subcompact. French carmaker PSA has been disposing businesses and has a two-year plan to cut 11,200 jobs, which represents around 17 percent of its French work force.
Jean-Baptiste Mounier, a spokesman for PSA, told Bloomberg News by phone that the Peugeot management intends to keep on producing the C3 at the Aulnay plant to satisfy customer demand while “accompanying its workers in their transition to other careers."
A strike by the CGT union since Jan. 16, 2013 has been hampering manufacturing operations at the Aulnay plant. The site is currently building 40 to 50 vehicles a day, according to Anne-Laure Descleves, a PSA spokeswoman at the site. The figures represent just around 16 percent of the plant’s current daily capacity of 250 cars. According to most recent industry figures, PSA posted a 15-percent drop in sales in Europe to 345,258 vehicles in the first quarter of 2013, steeper than the decline logged by the European auto market at 9.7 percent.