France’s industry ministry asks Peugeot to make cuts in Spain too image

Arnaud Montebourg, France’s industry ministry, is pressing PSA Peugeot Citroen to limit the impact of jobs restructuring in France by making similar cuts in Spain.

Europe’s second-largest carmaker plans to layoff 8,000 jobs in France, a move strongly criticized by the government. PSA Peugeot Citroen’s CEO, Philippe Varin, wants to shut down the historic Aulnay plant near Paris.

“It’s not just Aulnay. A production line is also set to be lost in Rennes, while the Madrid plant is being kept open,” said the industry minister, who has been set the task of making Peugeot change its mind. “We are going to have a debate with Peugeot management about opportunities and choices. Personally I prefer that the emphasis is put on closures outside France rather than inside France,” Montebourg told public radio station France Inter, repeating that Peugeot’s restructuring plan was unacceptable.

A spokesman for Spain’s industry ministry replied that the decision over where the cuts would fall was a matter for a private company, declining to comment further. Montebourg’s proposal will not go down well in Spain, a country deeply affected by recession, where the unemployment rate is just under 25 percent.

Peugeot was not available for comment.