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Automotive: PSA in turn restarts its factories

The car manufacturer PSA (Peugeot, Citroën) announced the gradual restart of its factories from Monday, a month and a half after the shutdown caused by the containment measures against the covid-19 pandemic.

“The gradual and secure restart of production will take place in the coming weeks with a first wave of partial reopenings of industrial activity between May 4 and 11,” the group said in a statement, adding that the restart was planned “from May 11 in France”.

PSA specifies that it has prepared “a protocol of reinforced health measures” to protect employees. This protocol was “built with the health services”, “shared with representative union organizations” and “was subject to systematic audits”.

Temperature control, frost, masks …

The measures include in particular a temperature control at the entrance to the sites, distribution of masks and hydro-alcoholic gel, and compliance with safety distances.

“All the barrier measures have been validated by the auditors” but the restart will be “very very gradual” and will be based on the reopening of the concessions, explained Franck Don, central delegate of the CFTC. “The first heatings will be done on a voluntary basis,” he said.

Most European car groups have started to boost production in recent days. This is particularly the case for Renault and Toyota in France.

The ramp-up promises to be very slow, however. Manufacturers need time to validate employee protection measures while some unions remain hostile to the return of staff to factories.

For automotive groups, the idea is above all to prepare for the reopening of dealerships, which is essential before manufacturing at full capacity.

Auto sales have collapsed in Europe since March, with most points of sale closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The French car market fell 88.8% in April.

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