Following the success of all of its SUV models under its own name as well as those of subsidiaries, PSA Group is increasing its SUV production capacity in Europe.
As part of the French conglomerate’s Push To Pass plan’s Core Model Strategy, as many as 11 SUVs were launched through its five brands, namely Peugeot, Citroën, DS Automobiles, Opel, and Vauxhall. Together, these five brands clocked 250,000 sales in the first quarter of 2018 in Europe, with the healthy numbers spearheaded by SUVs. PSA’s market share in SUVs also jumped in the same time period from 6.7% to 11.1%, with overall sales going up to a total of 16.9% for the first quarter of 2018.
As of end-March, PSA Group was the segment leader and aims to pursue the offensive with the forthcoming launch of the Citroën C5 Aircross in September in Europe. To keep up with the solid demand for SUVs and to maintain its own numero uno position in the segment, PSA group is reinforcing its existing production facilities and expanding their scale of manufacturing. The group’s current facilities have been the performance driver behind the successful sale of so many units of different models.
The Citroën C5 Aircross will commence production at the PSA Group’s Rennes, France facility along with the Peugeot 5008 currently under production, taking Rennes up to its full capacity. Production of the 5008 will be shifted to the Sochaux, France facility in March 2019, where currently the Peugeot 3008 and Opel Grandland X are being produced. As soon as the Sochaux plant reaches its full production capacity, the Grandland X will shift base to PSA’s Eisenach, Germany facility by mid-2019.
PSA Group intends to support the massive modifications to the plants’ operations and schedules with appropriate investments. These investments are in accordance with undertakings in the New Momentum For Growth agreement signed by five out of six French trade unions, maintaining production of vehicles in France at one million. Olivier Bourges, Director of Programs and Product Strategy at PSA said,”In 2017, Groupe PSA sold nearly 800,000 SUVs worldwide, nearly 600,000 of which in Europe, putting us in second place behind the VAG Group, whereas we ranked fifth in 2016. Our momentum is also impressive.
“The momentum is particularly striking for the Peugeot brand, whose SUV models are enjoying strong sales in China, Africa-Middle East, and Latin America, but also and above all in Europe, since Peugeot, runner-up in 2017, has taken the lead in the SUV segment since the start of the year, selling nearly 80,000 SUVs in January and February.”