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Citroen's C-Crosser closer

Crossroads: C-Crosser was a sell-out in its first week on sale in the UK.

The prospects of the Citroen C-Crosser and Peugeot 4007 SUVs coming here get a boost

Citroen logo28 Mar 2008

MITSUBISHI Motors Corporation has announced it will shift production of the Outlander-based Citroen C-Crosser and Peugeot 4007 from Japan to Europe, increasing the chances of both French compact SUVs going on sale here sooner rather than later.

As we recently reported, MMC was reorganising its Mizushima production facility at Kurashiki in Okayama Prefecture, which had originally committed to building 30,000 exampes annually for PSA Peugeot-Citroen consumption in Europe.

Following unexpectedly strong demand for the seven-seat joint-venture wagon in Europe - especially the UK, where the country's first full year of C-Crosser supply was sold out within a week - Peugeot Australia boss Rob Dommerson said earlier this year that he hoped a plan to build the 4007/C-Crosser in a Russian factory would increase supplies enough to launch the 4007 here.

33 center imageHowever, that plan appears to have been superseded by this week's announcement that MMC's wholly-owned NedCar factory at Born in The Netherlands will take on production of the Outlander for Europe from August.

Then, from January 2009, production both the 4007 and C-Crosser will be also shift from Japan to NedCar.

"The decision to locate production in Europe will thus enable PSA Peugeot Citroën to respond more quickly to changes in European SUV demand," said a statement from PSA yesterday. "This market segment remains one of the most dynamic in Europe." While the Outlander is sold in Australia with both four-cylinder and V6 petrol engines, both the 4007 and C-Crosser are powered solely by the latest-generation common-rail 2.2-litre HDi turbo-diesel engine developed jointly by Ford and PSA, producing 115kW and 380Nm of torque.

“We wanted it 18 months ago," Mr DOmmerson told GoAuto in February. "We only play in the passenger car market and the fact is that playing only in the passenger car market we are still the number four European,” he said.

“Volkswagen demonstrates that if you play in an SUV market and commercial market and so on, the numbers they did last year, they are number 10 in the market. We are saying to Peugeot there is an oppourtunity.” Like Peugeot and its 4007, Citroen Australia is keen to get its hands on the C-Crosser, which emerged at last year's Geneva show and went on sale in Europe in the third quarter of 2007.

"We are hopeful that this will speed the Citroen C-Crosser's availability for the Australian market," said a Citroen Australia spokesman.

"Until now the outstanding demand for the car in Europe - including the entire UK allocation for 2007 being sold in the first week it was on sale - has stalled our plans for an Australian launch, but with European production and a rise in production numbers, this could change."

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