Czech-made, joint venture Peugeot, Citroen and Toyota cars on sale 2005

11th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

PRAGUE, Oct 11 (AFP) - The first car manufactured at a new joint venture plant built by Toyota and PSA Peugeot Citroen in the Czech Republic will be on sale next June, the plant's president Masatake Enomoto told AFP Monday.

PRAGUE, Oct 11 (AFP) - The first car manufactured at a new joint venture plant built by Toyota and PSA Peugeot Citroen in the Czech Republic will be on sale next June, the plant's president Masatake Enomoto told AFP Monday.   

"We expect the first cars from the plant to be on the market in Europe in the first half of June," he said.  

Production will be launched in the first quarter of next year and once fully up and running, the single production line close to Kolin, 60 kilometres (37 miles) east of Prague, will manufacture 300,000 cars per year.  

The three small vehicles to be produced will be the Toyota Aygo, the Peugeot 107 and the Citroen C1.  

But Enomoto it had not yet been decided how much the cars would sell for.  

"The vehicles will mainly be sold in western Europe and central Europe," the project's executive vice president Jean-Pierre Chantossel added.  

"Our estimate is that around 80 percent of the vehicles will be sold in western Europe and around 20 percent in central Europe. Different brands may be sold in different proportions in different markets," he said.  

Chantossel said he expected the new vehicles to be bought primarily as a second family car and by young people, particularly living in towns.  

All the suppliers for the new plant known as TPCA, spread over a 250 hectare site, have now been chosen, Enomoto revealed.  

"Of the total volume of parts, 75 percent will come from the Czech Republic, 15 percent from Poland and the rest from other countries," he said on the sidelines of a press conference.  

Final testing of equipment is underway at the EUR 1.5 billion (USD 1.86 billion) plant, one of the largest investments in central and eastern Europe to date.  

So far the factory has produced 56 vehicles, Enomoto said.  

Chantossel told AFP that working as a joint venture had brought many advantages.   "Launching this project as a joint venture meant that not only could we share the investment and research and development costs 50:50 but we could learn from each other too," Chantossel told AFP.  

While PSA took on responsibility for supplies, Toyota was responsible for the whole production process.  

"We are sure that this project will definitely be a success and if anything it has been easier than I expected," Chantossel said.  

But he admitted working together had presented several challenges along the way.   "Working with three very different cultures - French, Japanese and Czech - and four different languages, since we communicated in English, has not been easy but the end result has been very positive," he said.  

Enomoto said that maximum capacity was expected to be reached one year after the launch of production.  

Eighty percent of the vehicles will be transported by train with the rest reaching their markets by road, with between 400 and 500 lorries travelling to and from the factory daily.  

"This project will go a long way to helping Toyota meet stricter emission standards," Enomoto added.   So far the plant has recruited around 1,200 workers, more than one-third of the 3,000 workers which will work at the site by September 2005.  

Enomoto said the plant had decided to raise wages to help persuade workers who had already been recruited to stay until production was launched. He again denied recent reports in the Czech press that TPCA had encountered difficulties recruiting workers.

 

© AFP

Subject: French News

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