Groupe PSA's Rennes plant is preparing add a fourth shift to ramp up production of the Citroen C5 Aircross SUV, which will be brought to market at the end of 2018, while continuing to support the successful sales performance of the Peugeot 5008 SUV, which has exceeded 90,000 unit sales since it was launched in 2017.

A total of 350 people will be hired, of which 50 on permanent agency contracts and 10 on permanent contracts, in most manufacturing professions, including production workers, forklift operators, maintenance operators, vehicle mechanics and team supervisors.

The new team will be introduced in December 2018 and work on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The terms and conditions of this arrangement will be discussed with trade unions, in line with the Group's commitment to working alongside employee representatives.

Therese Joder, Rennes Plant manager, says: "This fourth team confirms the momentum that has been building since the Contract for the Future of Rennes took effect in 2016. Signed by four out of five French trade unions and supported by the Greater Rennes area and the region of Brittany, this agreement has enabled the plant to be upgraded and the Citroen C5 Aircross to be produced in Rennes. This is great news for the Rennes plant and a real source of pride for everyone who works here."

Groupe PSA says it was the car manufacturer that made the largest contribution to France's trade balance in 2017. It stresses that 'the gradual upgrade and optimisation of each plant illustrate the Group's commitment to maintaining a strong manufacturing base in France'.

In 2017, the Group's trade surplus was up 15% to nearly EUR6bn (US$7bn). Its five vehicle assembly plants produced 1.1m vehicles, up 12.9% on 2016, representing more than one-third of the Group's worldwide vehicle production. The level of domestic output exceeds the commitments made under the New Momentum for Growth agreement, signed in July 2016 by five out of six French trade unions, representing 80% of employees. In addition, the Group hired 1,300 people in 2017, as well as 2,000 young people under the "youth employment" programme, and has undertaken to reproduce these figures in 2018.

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