On this day in auto history – April 20th

Tue 20th Apr 2021

It was on this day in 2006 that Peugeot confirmed it was to close its 60-year-old car manufacturing plant at Ryton, near Coventry.

Originally developed by the Rootes Group to produce aircraft engines for World War II, the plant was converted for car production after the war and was taken over by Chrysler in the 1960’s.

Peugeot took control of the site in 1978 and produced the 309, 405 and 306 models from there before concentrating solely on the 206 supermini which went on to became Peugeot’s best-selling model of all time.

Despite remaining profitable, competition from cheap labour in eastern Europe saw Peugeot expand car production to Slovakia with the eventual loss of over 2300 jobs at Ryton. Even though the initial announcement said the plant would close during July 2007, it actually closed six months earlier than expected in December 2016.

The 140-acre site was purchased by developers and has since been acquired by Network Rail to house a large haulage and distribution centre.