Peugeot to launch study on whether to close some assembly lines

PARIS Sat Dec 7, 2013 9:46am EST

PARIS Dec 7 (Reuters) - PSA Peugeot Citroen will launch a study in the next few weeks to help it decide whether to close some assembly lines at its Mulhouse plant in eastern France and its Poissy site near Paris, a spokesman said on Saturday.

The results of the review will be delivered in the first quarter of next year, the spokesman added.

The carmaker said last month it would review the second of two production lines at both Mulhouse and Poissy, although the latter was less likely to be shut.

"We are launching an internal study in the next few weeks with a likely outcome in the first quarter of 2014," a company spokesman said.

The Paris-based carmaker, which has already closed one assembly plant as it struggles with excess capacity during a slump in European auto sales, has been preparing the ground for further politically sensitive cutbacks.

Chief Executive Philippe Varin said in September that production line shutdowns were under consideration, while Peugeot would avoid site closures, and told unions that Mulhouse and Poissy could be affected.

The company has forecast annual production of 190,000 to 230,000 vehicles at Mulhouse in the coming years, well below its own threshold for keeping two lines open, but a healthier 240,000 to 270,000 at Poissy. (Reporting by Muriel Boselli; editing by Jane Baird)

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