Jean-Marc Nicolle, director of strategy at PSA Peugeot Citroën, seemingly lacks the Gallic talent for subtlety. Faced with a British union-led 'boycott Peugeot' ad campaign in protest at the planned closure of its main UK plant, Nicolle implied that such a move "could threaten" yet more jobs than those already on the hit-list.

The union-funded £1 million ($1.85m; €1.44m) campaign is a "mistake", says Nicolle. "The trade unions have no mandate [for a boycott]. It is against the open market in Europe - it's bad politics."

PSAPC plans to shift production from Coventry, England to Slovakia where labour costs are significantly lower. White collar union Amicus does not dispute the pay differential: "We have never challenged the view that Ryton is more expensive than Slovakia. The issue is whether Ryton is profitable. It is both profitable and productive."

Claiming that a boycott campaign would have little impact on sales or company strategy, Nicolle contradicted himself by warning it could threaten jobs at Peugeot Citroën plants elsewhere in the UK.

Amicus and the Transport and General Workers Union plan to conduct a poster and advertising campaign, in the hope that the threat of sales boycott will cause PSAPC to keep the plant open.

Britain is Peugeot-Citroen's third-largest world market after France and Spain.

Data sourced from and EuroNews; additional content by WARC staff