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Ryton to close six months early

Unions are threatening to step up their action after Peugeot announced plans to close its Ryton plant near Coventry six months earlier than expected.

The factory, which makes the 206, was to close next summer despite unions’ attempts to stop production from moving abroad.

But in a statement Peugeot said the plant will close on January 8 because voluntary redundancies and re-training have rendered it “increasingly difficult to maintain production without the necessary mix of skills”.

It added: “Since moving to one shift in August, the company has received an increasing number of requests to leave from employees wishing to start news jobs and the rate of requests is accelerating.”

At its peak the factory produced 209,000 cars per year but this year will make around 79,000.

Peugeot says more than half the remaining 900 staff have found jobs and that it is trying to help the other 400 find work.

Meanwhile, 150 temporary staff are filling gaps on the production line.

The unions’ high-profile campaign, against both Peugeot and Citroën, asked the public to boycott both brands. This has not had any impact on the decision to move production to Eastern Europe.

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