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A Solution for Transnational Labour Regulation?

Company Internationalization and European Works Councils in the Automotive Sector

Axel Hauser-Ditz, Markus Hertwig, Ludger Pries and Luitpold Rampeltshammer

This book examines the role that European employee representatives play in the restructuring of firms. In a globalized economy, company internationalization and transnational restructuring are of growing concern for employees and trade unions. In the European Union, the still rather new institution of European works councils provides basic rights for employees. Using examples of eight large automotive manufacturers like Volkswagen, GM or Toyota, the volume analyzes the internationalization strategies of the companies and the effects of European works councils, pointing to a high degree of variation in strategies and effectiveness of cross-border employee representation.
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Chapter 6: PSA Peugeot Citroën


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Chapter 6:  PSA Peugeot Citroën

6.1  The PSA Group

6.1.1  History and characteristics of the PSA group

PSA Peugeot Citroën is a globally operating automotive company, headquartered in Paris, that manufacturers cars, commercial vehicles and motorcycles. In addition to the Peugeot and Citroën marques, the group includes Faurecia (components, 70 per cent stake), GEFCO (logistics), and Banque PSA Finance and Peugeot Citroën Retail. Over its 100-year history, PSA has undergone numerous episodes of restructuring and strategic change. In 1976 PSA was constituted from the previously independent Peugeot SA and Citroën. Prior to this, in 1974, Peugeot had acquired a 38 per cent stake in Citroën. Shortly afterwards, the company took over Chrysler’s European plants, subsequently renamed ‘Talbot’ (1978). During the 1970s Peugeot changed from a Fordist company that, up until the mid-1960s, had concentrated on producing a small range of mid-size models to a more complex ‘Sloanist’ mass producer pursuing a ‘volume and diversity’ profit strategy (Loubet, 1998; Freyssenet, 2009a). ‘From 1979, PSA management had to organize a company comprising more than 30 factories that produced 26 models […] with a workforce of nearly 220,000, maintain three sales networks, and above all ensure that each of the three marques, Peugeot, Citroën, and Chrysler-Europe […] would have distinct and separate characters’ (Loubet 1998: 344).

Sales fell rapidly in the wake of the second oil crisis (1979/80), necessitating a switch in strategy. In order...

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