As the European LCV market leader, Groupe PSA intends to strengthen its market share in this segment in Europe and accelerate its development in the other regions. The increase in manufacturing capacity in the compact vans segment will supply our customers from the Luton plant by 2019 in addition to the existing Hordain facility in France.
In 2017, Groupe PSA reported record LCV unit sales of 476,500, an increase of 15% on 2016. Adding in passenger car derivatives (Peugeot Traveller and Citroën SpaceTourer, for example), the Group sold 658,000 units in 2017.
The investment in Luton is driven through a performance plan negotiated between the Unite Trade Union and the Luton plant (UK), combined with its recognised know-how in the manufacture of light commercial vehicles (LCV) and the flexibility of its existing paint shop. With this initiative, the EMP2 platform for LCV will be localised by mid-2019, as part of the convergence on Groupe PSA technology.
The performance plan has been facilitated by both the responsible social dialogue with the Unite union guaranteeing production flexibility and the support of the United Kingdom Government and Luton Borough Council, despite Brexit uncertainties.
The investment in the plant will serve to optimise its manufacturing processes to ensure that work is performed to the highest standards to meet the expectations of our discerning customers. In 2017, the plant produced 60,000 Opel/Vauxhall Vivaros. The investment aims at increasing the plant’s production capacity to 100,000 vehicles per year based on Groupe PSA’s EMP2 platform.
“Performance is the trigger for sustainability and I would like to thank all stakeholders involved and underline the open mindset of our union partners, as well as that of the UK Government. This is a major milestone for the future of the Luton plant and a key enabler to serve our ambitions in the commercial vehicle market, guaranteeing customers the best offering in this segment” said Carlos Tavares, Chairman of the managing Board Groupe PSA
“This excellent news for Luton is also a clear demonstration that our PACE! Plan is being executed across all European countries. It is also a clear recognition of the skilled people who have customer satisfaction at the core of their priorities. As we have often stated, we have our future in our own hands and we need to unleash the full potential of the employees” said Michael Lohscheller, CEO of Opel/Vauxhall.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “Today’s decision is a vote of confidence in Vauxhall’s high skilled workforce and the UK’s world leading automotive sector. This investment in upgrading the production platform will safeguard and grow jobs, ensuring the future of the Luton plant well into the next decade and help ensure the plant is well positioned for future Vauxhall models to be made in the UK.
“We have been clear in our commitment to the automotive sector which is why, through the Industrial Strategy, we established a landmark Automotive Sector Deal that will see us working with industry to put the UK at the forefront of new technologies.”