From 2020 onwards, PSA will include the production of battery packs for electric and hybrid cars at its Figueruelas plant near Saragossa. The French automakers will also start producing purely electric cars in 2020 in all its Spanish plants Figueruelas, Vigo and Madrid.
Spanish newspaper Heraldo reported the above developments. It revealed that PSA, comprised of Citroën, DS, Opel, Peugeot and Vauxhall, has already started manufacturing battery packs with cells imported from China at its plant in Vigo, Spain. A second battery assembly plant will now apparently follow on the PSA Figueruelas site. Without the new battery assembly at Saragossa, the distances for Opel’s Corsa-e would otherwise be very long – with over 800 kilometres separating the battery assembly in Vigo on the Atlantic coast in eastern Spain and the Opel plant in Figueruelas.
Now joining the new Corsa rolling off assembly lines in Figueruelas, the new Peugeot 2008 in Vigo and the new Citroën C4 in Madrid will also be built in the plant from 2020. Over the following year, Citroën Berlingo, Opel/Vauxhall Combo and Peugeot partners will be added in Vigo. All these electric cars are based on the CMP and EMP2 platforms. The three PSA plants together account for no less than one-third of total passenger car production in Spain. 14,000 employees work there, 86 per cent of the cars produced are exported to other markets. The Heraldo news site quotes Juan Antonio Muñoz Codina, PSA’s representative for the Iberian Peninsula, as saying that the three plants together would assemble around one million vehicles this year, which is around 16 per cent more than in the previous year.
Of these, Figueruelas is the largest plant. This is where half of all cars from PSA’s Spanish annual production come off the assembly line, i.e. around 500,000 units this year. The French carmaker plans to invest 250 million euros there by 2021. Also, the French automakers and their customers will be benefitting from public subsidies in the order of four million euros per year. With the battery assembly planned at the plant site, PSA is taking account of the ongoing electrification process. The automakers are announcing one new battery assembly facility after another in quick succession. It was only in June that it became clear that the group would also assemble battery packages for electric and hybrid cars of its Peugeot, Citroën and DS brands at its Slovakian plant in Trnava, where, for example, the Peugeot e-208 will be manufactured.
Of course, the reason for all of this is that PSA is preparing for the transition to the electric age: By 2025, the carmaker intends to offer offshoots with electric or hybrid drives for all 40 models of its brands. At the same time, PSA has to face far-reaching changes since the French automakers have agreed on a merger with Fiat Chrysler. It remains to be seen what this means in concrete terms for electric mobility in the new group.
Reporting by Cora Werwitzke.
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