The origins of the Ryton car manufacturing plant in Coventry can be traced to the Second World War.
The Government, conscious that Germany knew the likely location of Britain's munitions factories, began setting up shadow factories across the country to avoid the Luftwaffe's bombs.
Ryton, built by Alfred McAlpine in 1939, was one such factory, along with Browns Lane in Coventry and Castle Bromwich in Birmingham. Like the latter two - which went on to be occupied by Jaguar - Ryton was destined for a future in the automotive industry.
Former worker Dave Edwards, now aged 71, recalled: "There was an order that everyone in Ryton on Dunsmore who had a spare bedroom had to put up someone who was building the factory.
The Coventry-based automotive company the Rootes Group managed the site on behalf of the Air Ministry, and after the conclusion of the war began producing cars there.
Rootes, which comprised Hillman, Humber, Sunbeam and Talbot, started making the Sunbeam-Talbot, and in 1948 transferred the Humber Pullman, Humber Snipe and Humber Super Snipe from the Stoke factory in Coventry.
Between 1952 and 1962 production at Ryton was dominated by the Hillman Pullman, Hawk, Husky and Super series, along with the Hillman Minx.
But the most famous Ryton-built car of this era was the Sunbeam Alpine which was driven by Stirling Moss at the Monte Carlo Rally.
Dave Edwards, who had two spells lasting a total of 17 years with the company before his retirement in 1996, said: "Rootes was a good company; it was a pleasure to work there."
But there was a darker side, with industrial unrest and stoppages at the slightest provocation.
It was possible to tell if there was going to be a strike from where the union meeting took place. In the canteen - no strike; on the sports field - a strike.
In 1963, Rootes introduced the Hillman Imp, intended as its answer to the Mini, and a new factory in Linwood, near Glasgow was established to assemble it.
The move to Linwood was forced upon the company by the Government which had introduced the principle of Industrial Development Certificates (IDCs), intended to concentrate new factory building in depressed areas of Britain.
Linwood proved a disaster.
Dave said: "That factory never made a profit and was a massive drain on resources. They were not car manufacturing people in Glasgow. They were good at making ships, but that is totally different to making cars."
Another problem was that the component suppliers were still based in the Midlands. Half finished engine castings from Linwood were machined at Ryton and returned to Linwood once they had been assembled - at the same time completed Imps returned south again - in all a 600-mile round trip.
Rootes had no money left to develop its other models and by 1961 recorded losses of £2 million and another £224,000 in 1964.
By the mid-1960s, Rootes was taken over by the Chrysler Corporation of America, which wanted its own wholly-independent European subsidiary like arch rivals Ford and GM.
Chrysler also took over Simca of France at the same time, merging it with Rootes - now renamed as "Chrysler UK" - to create Chrysler Europe.
The Rootes name had largely vanished by 1971, and soon its other brand names were progressively phased out as the 1970s progressed.
Only Hillman was left by 1977, when it too was shelved in favour of the Chrysler brand.
Chrysler UK struggled on with a range of worthy but dull rear-wheel drive family cars like the Hillman Avenger and Hillman Hunter, while desperately trying to develop the Imp into a decent car. The Simcadesigned Alpine/Solara and Horizon ranges were developed and in 1976 the Imp was killed off, with the Hunter following it three years later.
Production meanwhile was often down to three days a week, a result of poor sales which saw the firm's UK market share dip from 12 per cent in 1967 to less than seven per cent by 1975.
Build quality suffered, and the Ryton and Linwood factories were the subject of frequent Government bail-outs, not least when in November 1975, Prime Mini ster Harold Wilson famously told the Commons: "The Government has been presented with a pistol at its head."
John Riccardo, chairman of Chrysler Corporation, demanded massive state aid or it would pull out with the loss of 25,000 jobs across the group and up to 60,000 others in the supply chain.
During 1974, strikes cost Chrysler UK two million man-hours of work, while losses mounted to $37 million in 1974, and another $34 million in the first half of 1975.
Concerned about the political impact of the job losses, the Wilson Government caved in, granting £162.5 million in state aid.
By 1976 and the launch of the Chrysler Alpine, the Ryton workforce was down to 2,500. Severe financial problems in the USA, coupled with a multitude of industrial relations problems in the 1970s, contributed to the collapse of Chrysler Europe in 1977, leading to the company's 1978 takeover by PSA Peugeot-Citroen for just $1.
The only surviving remnant of the car-producing part of the company in Britain was Ryton.
Peugeot ran out the former Chrysler models under the Talbot badge until the first Peugeot, the 309, was built there in 1985.
It was followed by the by the 405, 306 and finally from 1998 onwards the 206.
Overall four million cars have been built at the factory.
Dave said: "I think the workforce has been very very good. They have bent over back backwards and turned the quality around.
"The quality levels in recent years has been excellent. I have never seen quality as good as at Ryton."
The runaway success of the 206 - of which 1.3 million were built at Ryton - led to the factory working flat out, while quality levels and productivity increased.
"After all these years, they have a good car, a good workforce and a plant which was helping Peugeot make a profit," added Dave. "It's a shame it is closing now."