The trade union campaign to boycott sales of Peugeot cars in an attempt to prevent the closure of its Ryton manufacturing plant appears to have had little effect - the French brand's sales figures improved last month.
Newspaper advertisements in June encouraged car buyers to 'think of England' when choosing a new model. Funded by the union Amicus, they were intended to shame Peugeot into rethinking its decision to axe the Ryton factory, where it has made cars for 27 years.
But while Britain's car market suffered a 4 per cent decline in June, Peugeot's sales surged by 17 per cent. The figure was helped by demand for the still-fresh 207 model, but its director of strategy, Jean-Marc Nicolle, said the increased sales proved the union's tactic had been "a mistake". "The boycott is against the open market in Europe," he told The Guardian. "It's bad politics."
Amicus says that it expects the campaign to hit Peugeot in September. It also plans protests at dealerships and at the forthcoming British Motor Show.