PSA Peugeot-Citroen is to produce a unique sedan version of the Peugeot 307 in China, writes Rogério Louro. The 307 sedan will be unveiled at the Geneva motor show in March and will be made in the Dong Feng Peugeot Citroën Wuhan plant, in Hubei province, beginning in summer 2004.

The plant will also start producing the 206 hatchback from the beginning of 2005.

The 307-with-a-boot was developed by Peugeot specially for the Chinese market and, at 4460mm, is 260mm longer than the hatchback. It will be built with 1.6- and 2.0-litre 16-valve petrol engines.

Peugeot expects to sell 15,000 in China in 2004 and around 50,000 in 2005.

The 307 sedan will be the first Peugeot model produced in China since 1997 when the French group pulled out of a previous joint venture in the southern province of Guangzhou.

The Dong Feng Peugeot Citroën Automobiles plant is a joint venture by PSA and Chinese firm Dong Feng Motors.

Production of the 307 sedan and 206 hatchback in China is a result of an agreement signed between PSA and Dong Feng to expand the capacity of the Wuhan plant from 150,000 to 300,000 units in 2006.

Wuhan also produces two unique-to-China PSA models - the Citroën ZX Fukang 988, a Heuliez-designed sedan based on the old ZX, and the Citroën Elysée, a Chinese designed sedan based in the previous generation Xsara.

The factory also makes the Citroën ZX Fukang (an updated version of the old ZX hatchback) and the current Xsara hatchback and Xsara Picasso minivan models.

The Peugeot brand first came to China in 1985 when Guangzhou Peugeot Automotive Co was set up. The joint venture produced the 504 sedan, station wagon and pick-up truck.

The agreement to create the Dong Feng Peugeot Citroën joint venture was signed in 1992.