VIENNA – PSA Peugeot Citroen is preparing to produce a new model at its site in Trnava, Slovakia. As a part of the project, the French automaker plans to significantly increase production volumes.
The Slovak facility, which builds Peugeot 208 hatchbacks and Citroen C3 Picasso microvans, has been awarded a new model with production set to launch in the second half of this year. PSA describes the new car as a ‟B Mainstreamˮ model. In fact, it is the successor to the Citroën C3 now manufactured at Poissy, France.
The Trnava plant assembled a best-ever 303,025 cars last year, up 18.7% from 2014. With 258,859 units, the Peugeot 208 accounted for about 85% of total builds, with 44,166 Citroen C3 Picassos comprising the remainder.
With the addition of the new model, PSA plans to build 315,000 cars in Trnava this year. ‟We plan to produce up to 345,000 cars in 2017 and 360,000 in 2018,ˮ the plant’s general director, Rémi Girardon, tells WardsAuto.
Currently, some 3,500 people are working in Trnava on three shifts, five days per week. PSA has signed an agreement with the trade union regarding a fourth shift that will add about 800 jobs when it is implemented in early 2017. Under the agreement, two part-time weekend modes (two days and three days) will be created.
With an attractive weekend premium, employees will receive 70% to 80% of income in 3-shift operation for two or three days of work.
While PSA increases output in Slovakia, it also plans to significantly increase regional content – the share of parts made in Slovakia or other Central and East European countries for its Trnava-made cars.
The regional content of the Citroen C3 Picasso now is about 35%. The Peugeot 208’s share was 44%-45% in 2015 and will be increased to 48% this year.
‟The regional content of the new Citroen B Mainstream model which will be launched in 2016 will be about 86%,ˮ Girardon says. ‟The target for future models is up to 95%.ˮ
As part of the increase in local content, PSA will add engine output in Slovakia. The automaker said it plans to launch production of 3-cyl. EB Turbo PureTech gasoline engines in Trnava in 2019.
The aim is “to increase the capacity to produce 3-cyl. (gasoline) engines and move production as close to consumers as possible,ˮ PSA says in a prepared statement without providing details about the amount of investment or planned volume.