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The PSA group will invest 144 million euros in the Villaverde plant

Automotive News

Has presented to the works council a plan for the putting into production of a new model since 2021 linked to the approval of a plan to improve competitiveness.

The PSA group presented this Friday to the company committee of the Villaverde plant (Madrid) a plan that provides for the investment of 144 million euros in the factory in Madrid to start the production of a new model in 2021. This vehicle would employ The new CMP platform for compact vehicles. In return, the company requests the reduction to a shift and a new temporary employment regulation (ERTE) file for the period 2017-2020.

The sales of the model that is currently produced exclusively in the Madrid plant for the whole world, the Citroën C4 Cactus, a vehicle very different from what is on the market, are not having the welcome initially planned. For this reason the French multinational has presented this ambitious plan that includes the production of a vehicle of great sale that will also have a 100% electric version. In this sense, it should be noted that the other PSA plant in Spain, that of Vigo, has already been producing the electric version of the Citroën Berlingo for months.

A spokesman for the French company said that this new model, whose production would begin in 2021, will have a high sales volume and will ensure the industrial continuity of the Madrid plant “during the next decade.”

The 144 million that would be invested in Villaverde, if the project was started, would give continuity to the OptiMAD plan, aimed at grouping in this installation all the activities of the PSA Group in the region, including the production, headquarters of the Peugeot brands , Citroën and DS, the after-sales and financial and support activities of the group.

In this sense, the director of Institutional Relations and Communication of the PSA Group for Spain and Portugal, José Antonio León Capitán, emphasizes that the SmartMAD2021 project is an “ambitious investment plan” that will allow the transformation and modernization of the plant to take it to the High level within the PSA Group. In addition, the introduction of the latest generation CMP platform, including its 100% electric version, will guarantee the necessary flexibility of the center to adapt to the needs of the market and new technologies.

The PSA plant in Villaverde currently manufactures the Citroën C4 Cactus exclusively, which will be renewed this year, but beyond this vehicle does not have a future project. The center manufactured more than 81,000 units of this vehicle in 2016 (7% less than in 2015) and the forecast for this year contemplates a further reduction, due to the lower demand of the model.

PSA presented the production forecasts for the factory, which will suppose the suppression of a work shift, so that it will work with a single equipment. In addition, a new ERTE was also requested for 2017-2020, once the measures of the one currently in force are finalized. At the Madrid plant, 1,446 people are currently working, a figure that with an incentive scheme is being reduced to adapt the workforce until the arrival of the new model, in what the company is described as a future hopeful. To achieve this, a three-year period must be overcome in which “prepare to grow”.

If this project for the Villaverde plant goes ahead, it would ensure a future for the factory that has already been on the verge of closing several times. It is a factory with 60 years of history in which they have manufactured models as emblematic for the French group as the Peugeot 205 and that in recent years has been losing competitiveness. The arrival in ‘extremis’ of the C4 Cactus in the year 2014 and the beginning of its production was an oxygen ball for a factory that, if this plan is not approved, would have the days counted.

The confidential – ANGEL MARTÍN 28.04.2017 (Translation Soft)

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