PSA Peugeot Citroen is hoping to axe 4,800 jobs in France this year as part of a cost-cutting drive. The firm will offer incentives for workers to accept voluntary redundancy as it looks to cut back amid falling sales and rising raw material costs.

In January, the French group cut 2,300 UK jobs as it closed its Coventry plant and switched production to Slovakia. A month later, Peugeot said full-year net income sank to 176m euros from 1.03bn in 2005.

The carmaker said it should be able to reduce staff levels “without recourse to lay-offs”.

It will be calling a works council on 9 May as part of its efforts to put a voluntary redundancy plan in place.