PSA Peugeot Citroen says part of its Aulnay plant will close in October this year as the French automaker gradually sees its 2,800-strong workforce at the site find alternative employment ahead of a full shut-down in 2014.

The manufacturer is shutting the C3-producing Aulnay plant near Paris as part of restructuring plans designed to stem difficulties associated with declining European demand, with the closure forming part of a total 8,000 job losses.

"What we have said is the factory is due to close in 2014 and it will close in 2014," a PSA spokeswoman told just-auto from Paris. "But as the Group has given priority to the redeployment of staff - this is going well - it means [only] one job out of five is involved in assembly.

"So the workshop will finish [in] October, 2013. On the other hand, activity in the factory will still go on to 2014, it is sheet metal."

PSA added half the 2,800 staff had found "another solution, either internally or externally," for employment although it is unclear what this is.

A further 800 are engaged in a redundancy phase, while another 550 are "still not decided."

PSA's planned closure of Aulnay sparked a bitter industrial dispute with hardline French union, Confederation Generale du Travail and comes against a backdrop of tough economic conditions in France that have seen unemployment soar and austerity budgets introduced.

However, PSA maintains it is continuing to help its affected employees as best it can.

"Our president has committed himself so that no-one will be left on the side of the road," said the PSA spokeswoman.

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