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Fiat and PSA review van cloning
PSA plans next large – but not mid-size – Fiat-shared van, plus turbo triple and DCT
16 May 2011
FIAT and PSA Peugeot Citroen will end in 2017 a joint-venture arrangement that produces the mid-size Fiat Scudo, Peugeot Expert and Citroen Jumpy vans in France “due to diverging product strategies”.
However, the two European giants – which also share a compact van – have extended to 2019 their agreement to produce a common large commercial vehicle in Italy, meaning the next-generation Fiat Ducato, Peugeot Boxer and Citroen Jumper vans will again be mechanically identical.
PSA and Fiat revealed jointly on May 12 the decision to renew the large van joint-venture at the SevelSud plant in Val Di Sangro while ending the mid-size van deal in six years.
“Following detailed analysis, it has been jointly agreed by PSA Peugeot Citroen and Fiat Group Automobiles that their SevelNord joint-venture, based in Valenciennes, France, will not be renewed at its expiry in 2017 due to changes in each partner’s future product strategies,” said Fiat.
“The product strategies of Fiat and PSA Peugeot Citroen in the segment served by the Peugeot Expert, Citroen Jumpy and Fiat Scudo being divergent, their joint-venture at SevelNord will not be renewed,” said PSA.
From top: Fiat Ducato, Peugeot Boxer, Citroen Jumper.
At the same time, PSA announced a major three-year €355 million ($A474m) capital expenditure program to produce a turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine and new dual-clutch transmission.
PSA said it would invest €220 million between now and 2014 in its Valenciennes automatic transmission plant to build a new seven-speed twin-clutch automated manual gearbox that will offer “outstanding performance in fuel efficiency and driving experience”.
Europe’s second-largest car-maker said it would create 400 new jobs by installing capacity to produce 400,000 DCT transmissions annually.
In a move that also aims to “enhance the group’s expertise in the strategic area of the automatic transmissions”, the number of engineers at PSA’s auto transmission R&D centre in the northern France plant will grow from about 50 to 110 by 2013.
Meanwhile, a separate €135 million spend will produce a new triple-cylinder turbo-petrol engine from 2013 at PSA’s Française de Mécanique plant at Douvrin, in the Nord Pas de Calais region.
Douvrin will have the capacity to produce 320,000 units annually while the naturally aspirated version will go into production next year at PSA’s Metz-Trémery plant, which will produce up to 640,000 engines per annum.
PSA said the engine and transmission programs underline its commitment to be a leading manufacturer in France. However, it is yet to reveal plans for replacements for either the Expert or Jumpy models, or the Valenciennes factory that currently produces them.
“These investment programs at Douvrin and Valenciennes, as well as the expansion of the automatic gearbox centre of expertise, demonstrate the growing importance of the group’s powertrains production operations in the Nord Pas de Calais region,” said Dennis Martin, a member of the PSA board and head of industrial operations.
“This region is asserting its role as a source of excellence in addressing the challenges faced by the automotive industry.
“Regarding the end of our partnership with Fiat at the SevelNord plant, the 2017 deadline is far away enough for us to work on preparing the evolution of the plant’s operations. Up to this date, this work will be conducted by the group in close liaison with the public authorities and Nord Pas de Calais region.”
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