French unions say a further 1,500 jobs will be lost at PSA Peugeot Citroen in addition to the 8,000 staff cuts already announced, although the automaker insists these will be through "natural attrition."

Earlier this year, PSA unveiled its wide-ranging restructuring in France that will see 8,000 posts axed and the automaker's Aulnay plant near Paris shuttered, but the Force Ouvriere labour body is now pointing to an extra 1,500 jobs that will disappear.

"There is the plan of 8,000 jobs lost and also natural departure - there will be natural losses that have not been counted in the plan," Force Ouvriere automobile federal secretary, Jean-Yves Sabot, told just-auto from France.

"The loss for the automobile division of the group - in the conditional - will be 9,600 - which is the 8,000 and the departures that will add to that. We are shocked, but it is more the [restructuring] plan that shocks more."

PSA's decision to use "natural" departures comes as the manufacturer looks to address severe economic challenges in Europe.

"The plan of restructuring stays at 8,000 jobs," a PSA spokesman told just-auto from Paris. "There are many reports from yesterday (11 December) that say whatever.

"There is a project of industrial reorganisation - the figure of 1,500 is the response to a question from a union yesterday - how many natural jobs from 2012-2014.

"From this period, there will be an estimation of 1,500 [jobs] of natural attrition which is in the order of 1,500 from 2012-2014. It is an estimation. There is no plan to add to the 8,000 jobs."

PSA also declined to comment on reports indicating an Algerian backer could invest in the automaker, a view gaining traction in France.

The speculation comes ahead of next week's State Visit to Algeria by French President, Francois Hollande, who is due to travel to Algiers and Tlemcen on 19 and 20 December.

Hollande will meet Algerian President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, before making a speech to the French community in the country, which has close ties to France.