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Peugeot to cut UK's Vauxhall car plant workforce by a third

Reuters  |  LONDON 

By Costas Pitas

(Reuters) - Peugeot-maker will cut a further 250 at its in the north of England, reducing the workforce by a third as part of efforts to make the plant more efficient by reducing its output to one shift.

acquired British brand last year when it bought General Motors' loss-making European arm, raising fears among unions and lawmakers of job losses and possible plant closures as part of cost-cutting plans.

The French group said in October that it would cut about 400 out of 1,900 people at the site by the end of 2017 to improve the plant's competitiveness.

On Monday the company said it told representatives of trade union last week that it now needed to go further.

said the initial voluntary redundancy programme announced in October had been successful but that it needs to initiate a further voluntary programme for 250 more employees.

"The teams are conscious of the need to accelerate the recovery of plant productivity to meet the challenges ahead," its statement said.

Vauxhall, the British arm of the brand sold on the continent, said it will move to a single production shift at the site in April.

In December said that management and staff representatives had reached an agreement that includes shorter hours for its workers.

mainly builds the Sports Tourer family estate model at and is due to decide as soon as this year whether to renew production - a decision seen as a key test of Britain's ability to attract investment as it leaves the

visited the plant last year to meet staff, a source familiar with the matter told

A Unite at cited falling demand for the cars built at the plant as a key problem.

"We're building the wrong car," told "One car is no good to a any more.

It's got to be at least two models."

(Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by David Goodman)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 08 2018. 23:22 IST