Tue, Jul 24, 2012 - Page 15 News List

Peugeot Citroen inks deal to make cars with Toyota

AFP and Bloomberg, PARIS

French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen has reached a deal to provide Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp with light commercial vehicles for sale in Europe, the two companies said in a statement yesterday.

The deal comes with Peugeot under fire in France after having announced earlier this month plans to cut 8,000 jobs and to close its historic Aulnay plant near Paris because of falling European sales.

The statement said PSA will provide Toyota with medium-sized vans derived from its existing vehicles and the two companies will then work together on developing a new generation of vehicles.

“Under the plan, Toyota Motor Europe is to participate in the development and industrial investment costs for the next generation product,” the statement said. “There are no plans for the two companies to enter into capital tie-ups or joint production.”

Cooperation is expected to last “beyond 2020,” it added.

No financial details were disclosed.

The statement also made no mention of where the vehicles would be built, but Peugeot was known to be looking for a partner for its Sevelnord plant in northern France after Italy’s Fiat pulled out of a joint venture there.

Separately, Toyota was to begin offering a new compact minivan and a redesigned version of its Porte in its home market yesterday as Japan’s largest automaker caters to rising demand for small cars.

The new Spade will begin selling from ¥1.45 million (US$18,500) in Japan, according to a statement by Toyota. The 3.9m long model, featuring remote-controlled sliding doors, gets as much as 20.6km per liter in fuel economy, Toyota said.

“Recently in Japan, demand has been increasing for compact cars with minivan-like features, such as a large sliding door and a spacious cabin,” Toyota said in a statement on its Web site. “With the Porte and the Spade, Toyota aims to be a leader in the compact minivan market.”

The redesigned Porte compact minivan was also set to go on sale yesterday, starting from ¥1.45 million, the company said.

Toyota has forecast it will sell a record 9.58 million units globally this year, driven by an expanded product portfolio.

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