It was on the morning of April 18 the fears about about the closure of Ryton factory became a reality.
Jim O'Boyle, the works convenor for the Transport & General Workers' Union at the site had been called to a meeting at Peugeot's corporate headquarters at Aldermoor House to hear an update on the company's plans.
Chief executive Jean Martin Folz, who had flown in from France, came in, shook everybody's hands, and then dropped the bombshell.
The factory was to close by next summer, and all of its 2,300 employees were to be made redundant. Looking back, seven months on, Jim is still angry.
He said: "Folz said they had had a major strategic review of the company. They had been having tough times.
"He said he had some difficult news he would have to announce. You always fear the worst and hope for the best. Then he said it.
"Ryton would cease production in mid 2007. I was sitting there absolutely gobsmacked. It was a hell of a difficult meeting; and then I had to go back to the plant and tell 2,300 workers."
Jim was outraged because the company had just signed a European Works Council agreement covering the relationship between the management and the unions across the continent.
He said: "We had an agreement that the employees would be properly consulted on employment decisions.
"But they were closing us, and not consulting us. It was breathtakingly cynical. I just threw the agreement document at him and walked out."
The rumours about the demise of the factory had been rife following a gradual downsizing over the previous two years, but Jim still thought it could be saved.
The D shift - around 800 workers - had gone in 2004, while it was the end of the C shift - and another 800 jobs in 2005, that really raised the alarm.
He said: "We first thought something was wrong when the D shift went, but were told by the company 'don't worry, don't panic.'
"They said it was just a rebalance of the company's production levels. They said the Peugeot 206 is incredibly popular, just not as popular as it was, which was to be expected.
"But when the C shift went, that was when everyone really started to worry."
There were also no indications from Paris about what Peugeot planned replace the 206 with at Ryton.
Jim said: "Everyone was wondering, where is the 206 replacement? We were asking the company from 2003.
"We said then 'this is a wonderful car, but everything has a shelf life. What is going to happen?
"But the company kept soft soaping us, telling us not to worry. They said they said they had put in for a grant and they still wanted to invest in Ryton and they were looking to expand our markets across the world.
"They said 'we are not in the business of closing plants. Ryton will be part of our overall expansion. We don't close plants, we've never closed them before.'
"The company had a clear strategy, but now we know their strategy fell apart and they overestimated their expansion plans.
"But when you ask a chief executive of a multi national company with interests in 60 different countries, and he consistently tells you not to worry, it is safe, it is too early to make any decisions, what else are you supposed to do?"
Jim, who joined the company as a 19-year-old in 1985, had met Mr Folz on many times and had been assured that Ryton would be the run out factory for the 206, and maintain production until 2009/2010.
He hoped that another vehicle would be allocated while production was run down.
"In my heart of hearts I always hoped they would never close the plant. I thought maybe it would go down to one shift, but that would keep it going while we awaited a decision and then perhaps go back up in numbers again."
For years the unions had asked for a commitment about the future of Ryton, with many of the workers getting itchier feet about there being no replacement for the 206 on the horizon.
Jim said: "There were lots of hints about improvements and updates to the car, which was getting older, but the factory also needed some serious investment."
The company planned to look at a #150 million scheme, which would involve an application for a #15 million grant. But Jim thought the company's heart was never in it, and it eventually declined the offer from the Government when it came.
The workers moved a ballot for industrial action, which was lost by 847 votes to 640 when the result came in June.
This prevented any supportive action by workers in the other Peugeot plants in Spain and France coming to the aid of their colleagues in Coventry.
He said: "We weren't going to go on strike, but on the ballot you have to ask the members if they are prepared to go on strike.
"We were disappointed. It was very close, but I think we lost it because parts of Aldermoor House were balloted.
"They weren't going to be affected , so didn't vote for it. Then there were a lot of people who wanted to go. If you put people under pressure for a long time, then they want to go."
Even if the staff had voted for industrial action, Jim believed only joint action launched in the Peugeot's other factories across Europe would have been successful.
"If you think that going on strike was going to bring the company to its knees, that wouldn't have happened. If Ryton went on strike for ten years the company would have not cared. If we had managed to join the action with the other plants across Europe, that would have made a difference.
"That would have have frightened them."
Instead the unions - T&G and Amicus - launched a boycott campaign to attempt to hit the company's market share and profits.
This involved protests outside crucial Peugeot dealerships around the country and protests outside the Peugeot HQ in Paris and in London.
It also involved controversial billboard posters during the World Cup, featuring a dejected Peugeot worker being comforted by his wife but surrounded by English soccer flags.
The #1 million poster campaign carried the line: "Peugeot sacked 2000: You're either Peugeot or England."
Jim said: "The intention was not to utterly destroy Peugeot's market.
"We were trying to get the company to recognise they had a responsibility to their workforce, and give us the opportunity to talk about alternative plans.
"If you are going to close the plant, we are going to try to do something back. It is a natural human reaction. We had to do something. I spoke to some of the dealers who were worried, and they were fine. I said to them this is not about you, it is about Peugeot.
"We kept it going over a long period of time; we had massive amounts of interest."
Alternative plans -including running on a single shift producing the Peugeot 206 until 2010 and then introduce a new model - were produced but to no avail.
"They said a decision had been made. They could not see how we could bridge the gap in the costings.
"Therefore, while they said they were prepared to look at something, all along they made it clear that nothing would change their mind.
"But we had to do it. At Dagenham the trades unions showed they could keep some production there, and changed Ford's mind.
"But Peugeot was in a mess. Its strategy had gone wrong and they wouldn't listen to our arguments."
Ultimately, the fight was lost and the plant made its last car on Tuesday.
"We fought a fight, but we were up against an enemy who had their sights on achieving what they wanted all along - to sack 2,300 workers with the lowest cost possible and minimum fuss.
"We certainly stopped them doing it with the minimum fuss. We have made a fuss, but they have got their own way. But you cannot compete with big companies like that."
He disputed claims by the company that Ryton was the most expensive plant in the group.
"For eight years the 206 we built at Ryton was their most successful car. Ryton was both profitable and productive.
"Ryton has been instrumental in that success and Peugeot also makes a lot of profit from selling its cars in the UK; it is their most profitable market.
"The company said Ryton was their most expensive plant; but they can come up with facts and figures and statistics all day long. This means there is not a plant in France or Spain or anywhere in Western Europe which is safe.
"They closed us simply because we were the easiest one to close."
Jim was particularly angry at what he saw as the lack of consultation with the Peugeot management.
"They did not give us the opportunity to consult properly. In another country it would have taken six to 12 months to do what they did here in 90 days. They have to give us information and consultation, but we didn't have that.
"In France you have to have the opportunity to give an alternative. Any proposals which which could lead to job losses have to go to the ministry of Labour.
"Areas with high unemployment get protection, and companies sometimes have to relocate workers. There is a long list of things a company has to do before they can shed workers.
"That can be bureaucratic, and the UK labour market is more flexible. But there has to be a balance. Peugeot has exploited the situation and taken advantage of our flexible labour market.
"When it came to which plant to close, it was a no brainer for them. A French firm closing a factory in France would have been much more expensive and taken much longer."
The closure will mark a sad day not just for the workers, but the Midlands automotive industry as a whole, he added.
"I was born and brought up in Coventry. It is the birthplace of the British motor industry. There have been 137 different manufacturers of motor cars and bikes over the last 110 years. The factory has been there since 1939, and the company has been in Coventry in one form or another since 1902.
"It has had a long and proud history. When you hear that the last volume car producer in Coventry is going to close, it is really really sad. I have been angry because of the hypocritical way they've done it, but I have come to terms with it.
"Angry is not a very useful emotion. I have gone beyond that. It's just galling what they have done, and I am bitter."
He is particularly upset about when he sees Peugeot 207, the car built in Trnava, Slovakia which will replace the Ryton-built 206.
"Every time I see a new 207, it gets me right here, in the heart. I keep thinking that's the car that killed Ryton. It's a disaster for the city. How many thousands of people and cars have gone out of that factory gate?
"We have got a absolutely magnificent transport museum. But it is sad that is all we have got."
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