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Thursday, 18 October, 2001, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Peugot to invest 100m at Coventry
Peugeot 206
Two versions of the 206 may be built at Ryton
By Mark Foster, the BBC's Midlands business correspondent

The BBC has learned Peugeot's car factory near Coventry could be in line for another 100m of investment and two new models.

The indication came at a briefing of journalists at the factory at Ryton.

Managers showed details of past investment to upgrade the plant for the 206 model, amounting to more than 100m.

Executives emphasised that the investment would secure nearly 3,000 jobs at the plant.

New paint shot

During questions at the briefing, the manufacturing director, Christophe Gauthier, revealed a further 100m would have to be spent on a new paint shop to comply with environmental regulations.

A final decision is likely in 2003.

The production line is already being modified so the cars can be assembled with the doors off for ease of access.

During an earlier presentation pictures of two new models were shown - both based on the 206.

Export trade

The T12 is an estate version and T10 Sport is a sports derivative.

Although the company will not talk officially about the models, I understand the T12 will go into production next year and will account for half of Ryton's output.

Most of the cars will be exported.

Robots are now being installed alongside the assembly line ready to take the cars.

Bright future

Ryton has to compete with other factories in the PSA Peugeot Citroen group for investment.

Although managers would not divulge any financial figures, Mr Gauthier said Ryton was a profitable operation, despite the strength of sterling against the euro.

He said productivity had shown a marked improvement.

In 1993, each employee was making 23 cars a year, now the total is 68, in a plant running seven days a week.

In conclusion, Mr Gauthier said the future for Ryton was "bright" and the jobs of 2,850 employees was secure.

See also:

21 Aug 00 | Business
Peugeot talks back on
27 Jul 00 | Business
Peugeot staff strike
07 Jul 00 | Business
Peugeot workers to strike
21 Feb 01 | Business
Peugeot reports 80% profits increase
03 Sep 00 | Europe
Peugeot recalls 206 model
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