PARIS (Reuters) -- Searing heat has forced carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen to trim production at its French plants as it grants sweltering factory workers extra breaks, the company said on Tuesday.
PSA, which is already scrapping weekend and third shifts as profits slide amid a fall in demand for new cars in western Europe, said the lost time from extra "heat breaks" meant it was making roughly 50 fewer cars in France per day.
Workers in factories where air conditioning is not installed are kept up-to-date on the temperature and are granted an extra 10 minute break once a day once it tops 33 degrees, PSA said.
"Staff get an extra heat break for every day temperatures go above 33 degrees," a PSA spokesman said. "This cuts output by roughly ten cars a day in each factory, but isn't having a huge impact given that we are cutting production anyway."
Each of PSA's five factories in France produces around 1,800 cars per day, and the cuts affect mainly PSA's top-selling Peugeot 307 and 206, plus the Citroen Xsara Picasso and C5.
Temperatures have soared to around 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in parts of France, reaching their highest levels since 1947 and causing deadly forest fires.
Europe's second biggest carmaker said in July it would cut output in line with weaker demand in western Europe by 57,000 units in the third quarter and 16,000 in the fourth quarter, by axing weekend and third shifts at some plants including some of its French sites.