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Toyota, PSA to share vans in Europe

Delivering success: Toyota will replace the HiAce van it discontinued in Europe last year with a rebadged Peugeot/Citroen product before co-developing the next-generation vehicle.

European joint-venture to result in Toyota contributing to next-gen PSA mid-size van

24 Jul 2012

CASH-STRAPPED PSA Peugeot Citroen has entered into yet another partnership, this time supplying a version of its mid-size Peugeot Expert/Citroen Jumpy van to Toyota for sale in the European market from mid-2013.

The current-generation van is the product of a joint-venture between PSA and Fiat, which sells it as the Scudo.

However, PSA’s deal with Toyota will result in the Japanese firm contributing an “appropriate share” of the development and equipment costs to the next-generation product.

Toyota discontinued European sales of its HiAce van at the end of last year, citing a lack of suitable Euro 5 engines, but it was speculated that the van’s inability to compete with the driving sophistication of rivals like Volkswagen’s Transporter and the Ford Transit was a contributing factor.

An existing partnership between PSA and Toyota exists to build city cars – the Toyota Aygo, Peugeot 107 and Citroen C1 – in the Czech Republic for the European market.

PSA and Toyota have no plans to exchange share capital.

 center imageFrom top: Toyota Europe's Didier Leroy PSA's Jean-Christophe Quemard Fiat Scudo Toyota Hiace.

PSA announced a platform-sharing deal and global purchasing joint-venture with General Motors in March this year, which is designed to help turn around GM’s struggling European arm, Opel.

GM also has a commercial vehicle arrangement with Fiat and sells the Italian company’s Doblo van as the Opel Combo in Europe, while its Fiat-owned Detroit rival Chrysler also sells the van in the US wearing Dodge badges.

Another example of Fiat’s promiscuity in Detroit is that the Punto’s underpinnings are shared with the Opel Corsa, while the Ford Ka city car is based on and built in the same factory as the Fiat 500.

Fiat’s full-size Ducato van is also sold as the Peugeot Boxer and Citroen Jumper, leaving GM to link with the Renault-Nissan Alliance for its mid- and full-size vans, the Opel Vivaro and Movano, which are sold as the Renault Trafic/Nissan Primastar and Renault Master/Nissan NV400.

Under another PSA tie-up, Mitsubishi produces badge-engineered Peugeot and Citroen versions of its electric i-MiEV for sale in Europe as well as the ASX-based Peugeot 4008 and Citroen C4 AirCross compact SUVs that were recently launched in Australia as replacements for the Outlander-based 4007 and C-Crosser.

BMW has said it will honour its agreement to use PSA engines in its Mini range, having since signed a deal to share its efficient diesel engines with Toyota in return for access to hybrid and electric technologies, more recently expanding the partnership to co-development of a sportscar.

Toyota also has a deal with Ford in the US to develop rear-wheel-drive hybrid technology for light trucks and SUVs.

BMW is understood to be unwinding a joint-venture it entered into with PSA last year to develop hybrid technology, although a PSA/Mitsubishi project to co-develop an electric micro-van based on the i-MiEV is ongoing.

Toyota Europe president Didier Leroy said the company regards the European light-vehicle segment as important and will aim to “combine our strengths with PSA to meet the needs of European consumers”.

PSA executive vice-president of programmes Jean-Christophe Quemard said the conglomerate is pleased to be strengthening its relationship with Toyota and sees the agreement as “leading to a strengthening of both companies’ competitiveness in the European light commercial vehicle market”.

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