Facing stagnant sales in Europe, French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen said on April 26 it would cut 4,800 jobs in France this year through voluntary departures and retirements "The company should be able to reduce staff without recourse to ... lay-offs," Peugeot said in a statement 10 days before the final round of a presidential election in which corporate restructuring and job cuts are a central issue.
It attributed the move "to a context marked by a stagnation in sales in Europe over the last four years and a decline in profitability."
Peugeot employs 122,000 people in France.
The group suffered a huge fall in net profit for 2006 but said that a recovery plan would bring in better sales this year particularly in China and Latin America. It posted an 82.9% slide in 2006 net earnings to 176 million euros (US$229 million) from 2005 as the company, saddled with an ageing product line, fought stiff competition from Asian carmakers.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007