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Thursday, 2 May, 2002, 14:43 GMT 15:43 UK
Peugeot creates 700 jobs
Peugeot 206 sw
Ryton is the sole producer of the 206 SW
Seven hundred jobs are being created at car firm Peugeot's UK plant.

The French auto giant is to increase production of its Peugeot 206 hatchback and new 206 SW at Ryton near Coventry.

To satisfy current demand, nearly 250,000 vehicles - an increase of 40,000 - will have to be produced in 2003, according to Peugeot.

The company will introduce a fourth shift at Ryton, the sole site for the 206 SW, an estate version of its best-selling car to achieve this.

This is wonderful news for the motor industry at a time when it has seen so much pain

Amicus general secretary Sir Ken Jackson

Director of public relations Andrew Didlick said: "We are delighted with the success of the 206 and this announcement is great news for Coventry and the UK motor industry."

General secretary of the Amicus union Sir Ken Jackson agreed.

"This is wonderful news for the motor industry at a time when it has seen so much pain.

"It is a tremendous shot in the arm for Coventry and the West Midlands."

David Frost, Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive also welcomed the news.

"Peugeot is a highly sucessful international company and the fact it is thriving in Ryton is good news for everyone.

"It's also a compliment to the existing workforce and a testament to the quality of Peugeot's product. Once again it underlines the area's expertise in every facet of the automotive industry."

Vehicles exported

The second biggest car manufacturer in the UK after Nissan, Peugeot has already invested over 150m in Ryton.

The plant is profitable, earning its parent 104m during the past year.

One reason for this is its high productivity.

Peugeot claims it is Europe's only car factory churning out cars 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 49 weeks a year.

The summer shutdown has been scrapped to keep the assembly line moving as much as possible - the 3,500 employees can now take holidays when they like.

Peugeot has already built more than 600,000 206s in the UK.

And more than 250,000 have been sold here since 1998.

But 50% of the vehicles produced at the plant will be exported.

The 206 SW, which made its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March, will go on sale in the summer.

See also:

21 Mar 02 | Business
What's left of the UK car industry
13 Feb 02 | Business
Peugeot takes pole position
18 Oct 01 | England
Peugot to invest 100m at Coventry
21 Feb 01 | Business
Peugeot reports 80% profits increase
12 May 00 | Business
Analysis: Europe's car industry
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