EXCLUSIVE: UK: Future of 206 plant "not so certain" - PSA chairman
Despite meeting all its utilisation objectives, PSA Peugeot-Citroen's British plant at Ryton, near Coventry, faces some uncertainty over its long-term future, PSA chairman Jean-Martin Folz said in an exclusive interview with just-auto.
Ryton is the sole source of right-hand drive 206 hatchbacks and all SW (wagon) versions and also builds some LHD hatchback models. The plant is operating at 140% of its capacity following the introduction of four shifts there late last year.
But Folz told just-auto that threatened strike action at the plant and Britain's refusal to join the Euro made it "difficult to plan for the future".
Workers at Ryton are voting on strike action Friday (January 31) after unions rejected a 7.3% wage offer over two years.
Folz said: " We have made the best offer in the British car industry and now it is up to the employees to decide."
PSA has also been unsuccessful in getting UK government grants for developing the ageing Ryton site which is land locked by housing estates.
"The medium term future of Ryton is assured," said Folz. It currently builds the highly successful Peugeot 206 but when the time comes to replace this model the future is not so certain."
Folz added: "Currency fluctuations caused by Britain's non-participation in the Euro make it very difficult to make long-term decisions. We would prefer it if Britain joined the Euro."