Peugeot-Citroen’s Joint Venture With Changan Automobile Group To Focus On Light Trucks And Premium Cars
According to Automotive News, Gregoire Olivier, the CEO of operations of PSA Peugeot-Citroen’s new joint venture with China’s Changan Automotive Group, said his company is planning to launch a line of premium cars in China, based primarily on Citroen’s Metropolis concept car. Speaking at an industry conference in Shanghai, Olivier said his company’s devoted China approach is aimed at competing directly with the high-end German automakers that currently dominate the Chinese market.
“The Metropolis will happen — it will become a real car,” [Olivier] said. “The same styling elements will be used for a high-level Citroen car to be developed in China. We want to build up the premier line in China — the Metropolis is emblematic of our approach.”
Olivier declined to give an production volume estimate or say when output may start.
The Metropolis will be the flagship of Citroen’s DS line in China, and will be rechristened the DS9. According to published reports, the Citroen Metropolis is built on the same platform as the Citroen C6 and Peugeot 407. Fittingly, the elongated Metropolis is the first car to be designed by Citroen’s international design team, which has been stationed in Shanghai for the last two years. Originally designed with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, the Metropolis will feature a different powertrain in China, reportedly because PSA Peugeot-Citroen executives are skittish about IP concerns in the China market.
PSA’s joint venture with Changan officially launched last July, and will use an assembly plant in Shenzhen. Additionally the joint venture partners are planning to build a new technical center backed with an investment of 8.4 billion yuan (US$1.26 billion). PSA plans to manufacture upwards of 200,000 vehicles annually at its Shenzhen plant, which is due to begin production in mid-2012.