Europe's car industry faces tough times

The economic downturn is driving consumers away from new car purchases, forcing companies to downsize.

    The French government has bailed out Peugeot Citroen with a $9.1bn loan, and in Belgium and the UK, US carmaker Ford also announced factory closures.

    Thursday saw talks between the French state and the carmaker Peugeot over the loan. In return for the bailout, the government wants a position on the firm's supervisory board alongside a workers' union representative, with the aim to avoid huge job cuts that will be all the more damaging with unemployment already over 10 per cent.

    Ford confirmed it was planning to shut two British sites next year with the loss of at least 1,500 jobs.

    Production of the transit van is being shifted to Turkey from Ford's Southampton plant in southern England.

    Al Jazeera's Nadim Baba reports from Paris.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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