Peugeot’s UK plant at Ryton, Coventry, which three years ago was widely tipped for closure, will shortly be producing up to 2,500 206s a week, after investment of over £100m in the plant.
Peugeot UK managing director Richard Parham said production could rise to 4,000 a week without further investment by adding an extra shift.
The 206 project was the first time a Ryton-based team was involved in developing a new model from the start, and the first time Ryton has been the development centre for a new right-hand-drive vehicle.
Peugeot has doubled the number of robots on the production line over the past 18 months, and extended the plant for the first time in 30 years.
Parham said the £100m investment has made 12,000 jobs secure 2,500 at the plant and the rest in the supply chain.
Over the past three years, more than a third of the workforce has been shed and productivity has risen sharply.
The new car goes on sale in November. The company expects to sell half a million next year, more than in any year of 205 production.
Peugeot also launched a Gti version of the 206 and announced that the ‘two-O-Heart’ coupe/cabriolet, shown as a concept car last year, is also to go into production.