PSA Peugeot Citroen is declining to comment whether or not CEO, Philippe Varin, discussed the automaker’s decision to cut up to 8,000 jobs during a plant visit by a senior French Minister yesterday (8 October).

A whirlwind day of automotive activities saw Economic Redevelopment Minister, Arnaud Montebourg, visit PSA’s Douvrin site in northern France, a joint venture engine factory it shares with Renault known as Francaise de Mecanique, as well as Toyota and Renault’s plants.

Montebourg has been tasked by French President, Francois Hollande, with mediating between PSA and its unions, who have expressed deep concerns at the manufacturer’s plans to drastically prune the workforce and close its Aulnay plant near Paris.

“I don’t have any comment on what M. Montebourg said,” a PSA spokeswoman told just-auto from Paris. “I think he spoke [about] competivity and social challenges.”

PSA says it is unable to discuss further its job cuts plans as tri-partite talks between the French government, the automaker and unions are slated for 25 October at which a report concerning the manufacturer’s plans will be discussed.

“This meeting will be to talk first about the report, about the economic and financial situation of the Group,” the PSA spokeswoman said. “In France, the representatives of the employees can ask during this kind of procedure for a report from an external agency.”

PSA added it was also not due to discuss the PSA alliance with General Motors until the end of this month.

As well as the PSA factory in Drouvin, the French Economic Redevelopment Minister yesterday also visited Toyota’s site at Onnaing with Toyota Europe president, Didier Leroy and Renault’s operation at Maubeuge with CEO, Carlos Ghosn.

Montebourg’s office in Paris was not immediately available for comment.