PSA Group announced production plans for Europe but neglects Opel facilities

05 April 2018

5 April 2018

France’s PSA Group has published a production plan for Europe that omits Germany, where many of its new Opel plants are based.

The group has said that it is aiming to improve the performance of its powertrain plants to fulfil orders for future Opel and Vauxhall models based on PSA platforms, as part of its PACE! plan to improve the fortunes of the German manufacturer.

In addition, the company is preparing for a push for hybrid and electric powertrains, as well as looking to localise automatic gearbox production to meet shifting customer demand, as drivers look to move away from manual transmission. PSA will also increase the agility of its manufacturing base by producing components as close as possible to car plants.

This means increasing the production of the 3-cylinder Turbo PureTech petrol engine as close as possible to car plants. In addition to doubling production capacity in France, compared to 2016, already in progress in Douvrin and Trémery plants, the Group will be producing PureTech engines in Tichy (Poland) and Szentgotthárd (Hungary) from 2019 onwards.
The plan also states the preparation of the company’s Trémery plant in France to produce electrical motors from 2019 onwards, before acceleration from 2021 onwards, thanks to a joint venture signed with Nidec. They will support the electrification push, as 100% of the Group’s vehicle range will include e an electrified offering by 2025.

Yann Vincent, executive vice president, Manufacturing and Supply Chain, said: ′What will make the difference will be our agility to prepare our manufacturing base to produce components that meet customer needs and respond to the energy shift, creating the conditions for a sustainable future through enhanced performance. Groupe PSA’s 15 component production plants in Europe, located in France, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Poland, are eager to propose the best quality and performance to our customers.’

In Germany, Opel builds transmissions in Ruesselsheim and diesel engines in Kaiserslautern, PSA’s announcement. However, Opel’s works council demanded ′constructive proposals’ for investment decisions on German sites.

′Following a one-sided decision by PSA about investments in European sites outside of Germany, constructive proposals need to be presented for German sites on the basis of collective bargaining agreements,’ Opel worker representatives from trade union IG Metall said.

PSA, which completed the acquisition of Opel from GM in August, said that the number of Opel platforms will be reduced to two by 2024 from nine now. Powertrain families will be reduced to four from 10.