According to Reuters, the French concern PSA is reviewing its product strategy and no longer counts on the current smallest models in the future. The Peugeot 108 and Citroën C1 cars produced in Kolín, Central Bohemia, are due to end. The company wants to withdraw from the low-margin segment of city cars.
According to sources agencies even the decision to stop selling both cars has already been made. In the past, the French concern has already sold its stake in the Cologne plant to Toyota, Japan, to which the rest belonged. Toyota will take over the race on January 1, 2021.
PSA is one of the manufacturers who is rethinking their operations in the class of the smallest cars. These cars are hit hard by CO2 reductions and other emission standards. Costly powertrain electrification or expensive exhaust after-treatment systems may not pay off due to low margins.
They considered electrification considerations at PSA, but then rejected them with concerns about the profitability of such a project. In the past, Daimler spent money on electrifying his smallest models in the case of the Smart and Renault with his relative Twingo.
“The PSA Group will withdraw from the factory and from segment A in its current form. It is difficult to make any money in Europe,” Reuters quoted a source as saying.
A spokesman for the French company declined to comment. He added, however, that the company is currently evaluating which product would best meet the expectations of customers in the city car class and at the same time meet emission regulations. “It means fresh and fresh thinking,” he added mysteriously.
Tomáš Paroubek, a spokesman for the TPCA plant in Cologne, did not want to comment on Aktuálně.cz. However, according to him, the factory has launched a recruitment campaign since the beginning of the year, it wants to hire a total of 1,000 people, even for administration and maintenance. During the next year, the production of a larger Toyota Yaris model should begin in Cologne, and part of its production will be moved to the Czech Republic from France. Preparations for the plant are currently underway. If the information about the end of Peugeot and Citroën were confirmed, two Toyota models would be produced in Cologne: the mini Aygo and the aforementioned Yaris.
For the PSA, in any case, the smallest car class opens up opportunities in the upcoming connection with the American-Italian group FCA. It is very strong in the segment, its Fiat 500 and Panda models have long been among the most successful in the class and have recently received mildhybrid variants. In addition, the “Five Hundred” has a brand new electric generation. According to Reuters, the FCA does not want to leave its traditional segment.
However, the market for city cars is shrinking. Last year, it accounted for only 7.9 percent in Europe, while ten years ago it had a tenth share. Slightly larger cars the size of the Fabia (or Yaris and Peugeot 208) offer carmakers a greater opportunity to earn money and their market share is stable at around thirty percent. After all, PSA stopped production of its two smallest models, Karl and Adam, after taking over Opel.
The future of the smallest and cheapest cars of French brands thus remains open. One of the possibilities is said to be a real mini-truck in the style of a cheap Citroën Ami electric car, which the company assembles in Morocco, or it may be cheap, but slightly larger cars of the current 208 size.
In this slightly larger class, the future Stellantis Group, which will be formed by the merger of FCA and PSA, wants to rely on French technology. It is already clear that it will be taken over by Fiat in the future, the FCA Group has already sent a message to its suppliers that it is preparing three new cars in this class and that they will be produced under license on the French CMP platform, which is already used by Peugeot 208 or Opel Corsa. .