Blog: Dave LeggettVan joint ventures

Dave Leggett | 10 May 2006

It must be 'European Van Joint Ventures Week'. Renault and GM have this week issued information on their latest jointly-produced vans. And mighty fine in appearance they are too. Good to see that panel van workhorses aren't just big boxes with four wheels these days. The designers are making a bit of an effort (click here for the news item and pics).

Tomorrow sees Fiat and PSA deliver an update on their joint venture making panel vans at the Val di Sangro plant in Italy. Marchionne and Folz will be present at the press conference.

Vans have long been a prime area for collaboration in Europe among the OEMs seeking to share development and production costs. Fiat and PSA's 'Sevel' accord stretches to two sites: Sevelsud is the Italian plant making 3.5 tonne GVW panel vans (Ducato/Jumper/Boxer) and Sevelnord is at Valenciennes in France making smaller panel vans and MPVs for PSA and Fiat brands (LCV and passenger vehicle versions further adding to volume, bringing down unit costs and enhancing profitability).

The Sevel collaboration has been quietly going along quite happily for some time, but maybe the partners feel they should now give it a bit more publicity and hence the fanfare tomorrow. In 2002, they signed up to keep the agreement going until 2017, which suggests they are pretty happy with the arrangement (read that news story here).

Actually, I think the Sevelnord operation in France is more interesting than Val di Sangro from a product and manufacturing viewpoint - just how much is shared between the MPVs and the vans these days, I wonder?


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