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2012-07-12 13:57

BASTION FOR FRENCH WORKERS TO CLOSE: The Aulnay-sous-Bois factory, a bastion for French vehicle manufacturers (above) is set to close its doors as French automaker’s Peugeot-Citroen try to recoup its losses.

PARIS, France - Struggling French automaker PSA Peugeot-Citroen has announced a drastic cost-cutting plan to slash 8000 jobs in France and close a factory north of Paris to counter poor sales in crisis-hit Europe.

The automotive group, facing a R7.1-billion loss in 2012, is trying to save R10-billion as it struggles to compete in Europe's fiercely competitive vehicle market.

The group is suffering amid a slump in sales in the recession-hit south of Europe - down 20% during the first quarter of 2012.

AU REVOIR FRENCH BASTION

The restructuring plan includes the closure of Peugeot-Citroen's Aulnay-sous-Bois factory, one of the biggest vehicle plants in France and seen as a bastion of vehicle production.

The company will also cut 1400 jobs at its Rennes factory and 3600 in other French sites.

CEO Philippe Varin said that the company was losing about R1-billion a month though he pledged: "Nobody will be left along the side of the road."

The company is hoping a new alliance with General Motors will allow it to return to profitability.

CGT union member Jean-Pierre Mercier said: "It's no longer possible to continue to lose jobs like this. We have to come together to make the management back down."

Union members are already protesting on the streets.

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