The PSA-Fiat light commercial vehicle joint venture at the Sevel Nord plant in northern France on Tuesday (7 November) rolled out new Peugeot Expert, Citroën Dispatch and Fiat Scudo van lines which will be launched in January.

The new vans are offered with a broad range of body styles with volumes of five to seven cubic metres and payloads of 1,000 and 1,200 kg.

There is also a new combi-van, a large van-based MPV/minivan seating up to nine passengers.

The new vehicles for both groups are produced in Valenciennes, northern France, at the Sevel Nord plant, with a workforce of nearly 4,400 employees producing up to 130,000 units a year in three shifts.

The Sevel Nord site which is operationally managed by PSA Peugeot Citroën also assembles the Peugeot, Citroën, Fiat and Lancia brands' top-of-the-range MPVs.

To manufacture these diverse ranges of vehicles priority was given to modernising the workshops, redesigning logistics and improving workstation ergonomics. The Sevel Nord plant assembles as many as 14 different body styles on a single line: the top of the range MPVs, the new compact light commercial vehicles and the combi-vans.

Investment for the production of these new compact light commercial vehicles and combi-vans totalled EUR440m.

Nearly one million units of the previous generation of Peugeot Expert, Citroën Dispatch and Fiat Scudo models, launched in 1995, have so far been produced at the Sevel Nord. These light commercial vehicles helped trigger the boom in the compact light commercial vehicle segment in Europe with their novel car-like driveability, an offering not previously available on light commercial vehicles.

Following the renewal of their larger light commercial vehicle ranges: the Citroën Relay, Peugeot Boxer and Fiat Ducato, in May 2006, the two groups are continuing to rejuvenate their light commercial vehicle ranges.

The next step in this market offensive will occur in 2008 with the launch of a small new van manufactured in Turkey under Tofas management.

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