Peugeot-Mitsubishi 4WD launch set for 2007

4th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 4 (AFP) - French PSA Peugeot Citroen and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. of Japan signed on Friday a partnership plan to make a four-wheel-drive vehicle in Japan for sale in Europe.

PARIS, Feb 4 (AFP) - French PSA Peugeot Citroen and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. of Japan signed on Friday a partnership plan to make a four-wheel-drive vehicle in Japan for sale in Europe.

PSA chief executive Jean-Martin Folz, long opposed to such vehicles, signed in Japan a letter of intent to work in partnership with Mitsubishi Motors to launch a four-wheel-drive vehicle in 2007.

Under the agreement, to be finalised in the next few months, 30,000 of the sports utility vehicle (SUV) models would be produced in Japan but the output would be aimed mainly at the European market.

The vehicles would have styling that was specific to each of the PSA brands, Peugeot and Citroen, and would be based on a Mitsubishi vehicle platform which was under development.

"To begin with, this project will target European markets but the two groups are also considering the possibility of supplying other markets and expanding their partnership," the companies said in a joint statement received here.

The new vehicle - designed to expand both Peugeot and Citroen brand offerings in Europe - would be equipped with Peugeot's HDi diesel engines and particulate filter.

"For Mitsubishi Motors, the additional volume will enable the company to raise capacity utilisation rates and to improve productivity," the statement said.

For Mitsubishi, which is in difficulties, the agreement would increase the rate at which its industrial facilities were being used and would increase productivity.

Peugeot's arch-rival Renault has seen a rivival in its fortunes since it forged a partnership in 1999 with another Japanese carmaker, Nissan. The two companies have since built up an important cross-shareholding.

However, a Peugeot spokeswoman ruled out any chance it would seek a similar path with Mitsubishi Motors and had no plans to take a stake in the Japanese company.

"We can absolutely rule out any capital interest with Mitsubishi or other partners," a Peugeot spokeswoman said.

She said that the company was happy with its stated strategy of pursuing organic growth augmented by partnerships with other manufacturers, including Toyota, BMW and Mitsubishi Motors.

She also said that alongside the memorandum of understanding signed with the Japanese carmaker, the two companies were considering a deal to use Peugeot's HDi diesel engines for new Mitsubishi vehicles.

"It's one of the themes of the discussion," she said, adding that there is currently "no idea at all" of the volumes or value covered by any possible agreement.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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