MADRID – Production is increasing steadily at PSA Group’s Opel plant in Figueruelas in northeastern Spain.
The plant assembles the Citroen C3 Aircross compact CUV, its Opel Crossland and Mokka X clones and the new Opel Corsa sedan. The production forecast for this year is 402,000 units, a 12% increase over the 361,400 built at Figueruelas in 2016. Output could reach 460,000 units next year; the plant’s maximum capacity is 480,000.
All four models were scheduled to be assembled by Opel at the Spanish plant before PSA completed its acquisition of the Opel and Vauxhall brands from General Motors in late July.
Exports accounted for 87% of Figueruelas production in 2016, with Germany (19%), U.K. (15%), Italy (14%) and France (9%) being the biggest markets.
The increased activity at the plant has benefited its 56 suppliers which reported combined sales of €660 million ($787 million) and added 800 new jobs in 2016.
The C3 Aircross, Opel Crossland and Mokka X models are built on one of two assembly lines, with the other dedicated to Corsa production. Daily builds of the Corsa average 800 units; the C3 Aircross and Crossland X, 400; and the Mokka X, 200, Opel Spain says.
The next-generation Corsa is to be assembled in Figueruelas starting in 2019, but at the same time, Mokka X production will be transferred to the Opel plant in Eisenach, Germany.
PSA has set a full-year target of 130,000 sales of the C3 Aircross. The replacement for Citroen’s C3 Picasso aims to compete with other compact CUVs such as the Renault Captur, the segment leader in Europe, and the SEAT Arona.
The Aircross also will be exported to South American, Asia Pacific and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) countries, although the Asia Pacific region likely will be supplied from China – where the larger Aircross C5 already is assembled – within two years. The C5 Aircross also will be assembled in Europe, but a site has not been announced.
In Spain, the price of the entry-level C3 Aircross will be about €14,000 ($16,700).
PSA also has assembly plants in Madrid and Vigo, Spain, and Mangualde, Portugal. The Madrid-built C4 Cactus has fallen short of sales targets set when the small CUV was launched in 2014. Only 50,000 units are expected to be built this year, well below the plant’s two-shift capacity of 150,000 (200,000 with three shifts.)
The introduction of the C3 Aircross could reduce C4 Cactus sales even more, jeopardizing continuity at the Madrid plant, to which PSA does not plan to assign a new model before 2021.