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April 12, 2010

FRANCE: PSA to expand small engine JV

New engines to be built following a EUR175m (US$238m) investment in PSA Peugeot Citroen's northern France engine plant are destined for models including the 207, C3 and, eventually, the 308 and C4.

New engines to be built following a EUR175m (US$238m) investment in PSA Peugeot Citroen ‘s northern France engine plant are destined for models including the 207, C3 and, eventually, the 308 and C4.

Between now and 2013, PSA plans to invest the money at its La Française de Mécanique plant in Douvrin, in the Pas-de-Calais department of northern France, to prepare for the production of a new three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine line. The investment follows the group’s decision to extend range of I3 engines currently under development by adding a turbocharged version.

PSA has managed to secure support from the Nord Pas-de-Calais and the Pas-de-Calais regions although it is unclear if this involves any financial contribution.

“In everything we do we always stay close to the authorities locally because clearly it impacts massively on economies of those areas,” a PSA spokesman told just-auto.

This new I3 engine family will include one- and 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated versions to be produced at PSA ‘ Trémery plant beginning in 2012, with capacity of 640,000 units a year, and the 1.2-litre turbo versions to be produced at Douvrin from 2012 with capacity of 320,000 units annually. The La Française de Mécanique plant currently builds petrol and diesel engines for Peugeot and Citroën models, including the EP petrol engine developed in cooperation with BMW for the MINI line.

“We have not got a definitive model list for [the investment] yet as we are still [planning] how to spread the engines around,” added the PSA spokesman.

“It is likely to be the [Peugeot ] 207 and cars of that size – also [the Citroen ] C3 will be the initial target – it will be between now and 2013 so it will be imminent.

“Later on it will also be other cars – potentially [the Peugeot ] 308 and [Citroen ] C4. The first engines and cars will be produced towards the end of 2013 – it will ramp up to full production in 2014.” Created in 1969, La Française de Mécanique is a 50-50 joint venture between PSA Peugeot Citroën and Renault , with 3,400 employees. It once produced the ‘Douvrin’ petrol V6 shared by large Peugeot and Renault passenger cars and also used in some top Volvo models.

Its machining and assembly lines produce 6,200 engines per day. Output in 2009 totalled 1.3m units, of which 942,000 were for PSA .

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