PSA Peugeot Citroen, Europe's second-biggest car maker, is closing its plant north of Paris for eight days as part of a plan to cut second-half production by 73,000 vehicles because of declining European sales, according to a Detroit News wire service report.

Spokesman Hugues Dufour reportedly said the Aulnay-sous-Bois factory will close from October 27 to November 2 and again on Nov. 10 though workers will be paid during the shutdown from overtime wages accrued earlier in the year.

The Detroit News noted that Peugeot previously announced that the night shift at its Poissy, France, plant would be cancelled as of last Monday and it ended the night shift at the Rennes, France, plant on July 31. The weekend shift at the Sochaux, France, plant was cut on August 31 while the Porto Real, Brazil, plant is being closed for 45 days instead of the 15 days originally planned, the report added.

The vehicle production cut represents "around 2%" of the 2003 total, a second company spokesman told the wire service.

The Detroit News report also said the company is letting 1,500 temporary work contracts lapse between October and the end of the year to achieve the reduced production.

Peugeot currently employs about 10,000 temporary and 97,000 full-time workers in France and has a worldwide payroll of 200,800 employees, the report added.

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