PSA Peugeot Citroen is to slash production of its 208 model by 33% at its Poissy plant near Paris as European economic turmoil continues to take its toll.

With immediate effect, the 208 will drop from 52 to 35 models per hour at Poissy, while the Trnava plant in Slovakia will also be affected.

“We need to adapt to the market,” a PSA spokeswoman told just-auto from Paris. “We have [208] success, but in a very difficult market, which is why we have to downsize production, both at Poissy and Trnava. It is going down from 52 to 35 at Poissy, I don’t have the Trnava numbers.

“That reduction is starting now [while] the night shift will be stopped at the end of December. The 208 does have success – at the end of August it is second in the B-segment behind [Volkswagen] Polo.”

The French automaker added there would be no redundancies, but temporary workers would not have their contracts renewed, although these would run their course first.

PSA said this summer group overcapacity was becoming worse, with European plants running at 76% utilisation in the first half of 2012 – from 86% the previous year.

This rate is even lower in the small car segment, which accounts for 42% of PSA sales and where most of the competing models are made in low-cost countries.

In the greater Paris area, the group currently has two factories specialising in small car production, Aulnay for the Citroën C3 and Poissy for the Peugeot 208, Citroën C3 and DS3.