PSA/Peugeot-Citroen is embarking on a three-year plan to improve the quality of components from suppliers.

"We are not satisfied with the quality of our suppliers," the group's new purchasing chief, Jean-Philippe Collin, said in an interview with Automotive News Europe.

"Bad quality costs us a huge amount of money and that has got to change."

The 48-year-old Collin, who took office last July, previously headed purchasing at French electronics giant Thomson, and earlier worked for French auto supplier Valeo.

PSA wants its three-year plan to reduce the overall rate of faulty parts (usually measured in "parts per million" or PPM) by 25% every six months to the end of 2007. Mathematically, that would mean an 82% reduction by the end of the programme.

PSA is introducing a range of short- and long-term measures - 30 in total - to improve the performance of its 700 suppliers.

PSA spends €22 billion a year on car components, and an additional €7 billion on other goods and services. Total PSA sales in 2003 were €54.2 billion.

Carmakers have increasingly outsourced components production in recent decades. Outsourced parts now typically represent 70% of the production cost of a car.

PSA plans to introduce 26 new models - not including restyled models - between January 2003 and December 2006.

The proliferation of car models in recent years increases the risk of defective components because it raises the total number of parts, said Collin.