Wednesday, 15 April 2015

PSA/GM light vans set for Vigo in 2018

Next-generation small light (Transit van look-alike) commercial vehicles from PSA Peugeot Citroën and General Motors will be built in Vigo, Spain

PSA Peugeot Citroën (PSA) and General Motors (GM) state that as part of their existing alliance agreement, the next generation small light commercial vehicles (B-LCV) from both companies will be built in the PSA plant in Vigo, Spain.

The vehicles will replace the Citroën Berlingo, Peugeot Partner and Opel/Vauxhall Combo. They will be developed on PSAs latest LCV architecture. The first vehicles will be on the market in 2018. It is understood the new vehices will replace the current Combo, GM's joint venture with Fiat. It is also understood the 'new' Vauxhall Combo will be more like the Ford Transit Connect in both size and shape.

The vehicles of both manufacturers will be differentiated and consistent with their respective brand appearance, but PSA will supply the powertrain with a new 1.2-litre gasoline engine and a new 1.6-litre diesel available although more than likely the Vauxhall versions of the van will be diesel only. (interestingly, The new Mercedes-Benz Metris will be available only with a gasoline engine in the US.) As to the engineering of the vehicle, PSA will be mainly responsible with some engineering input on the Opel/Vauxhall variations to the base design and these will be handled from GM's engineering centre in Russelsheim, Germany. It is understood GM's former Vehicle Engineering Centre at Millbrook, UK, will not be involved (like it was with Vivaro) although this facility has done some body-in-white engineering on the next-generation Vauxhall Astra estate. GM sold off Millbrook some time ago to concentrate engineering effort in Russelsheim.

This programme is the latest of three joint projects signed by both partners in an agreement in December 2013. The other projects include the production of B-MPV (B-segment multi-purpose vehicles) in the GM plant in Zaragoza, Spain and C-CUV (C-segment crossover utility vehicles) in the PSA plant in Sochaux, France.

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