Opel denies reports of deal to make Citroen C5, Peugeot 508 at its plant

Article by Anita Panait, on June 28, 2012

Opel will not build Citroen C5 and Peugeot 508 at its Ruesselsheim plant in Germany, dismissing a report by daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as speculation. Citing a union official as its source, the daily reported that Opel will build the next generations of PSA/Peugeot-Citroen’s C5 and 508 cars at the Ruesselsheim site. 

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung quoted Armin Schild, a senior German union official, as saying that serious negotiations are ongoing. If the report is true, such a move from Opel, a unit of General Motors, would provide Ruesselheim with an extra 130,000 units of annual production, making the site more cost efficient by operating on three shifts.

Although GM and PSA currently have an existing partnership agreement, the area of manufacturing is not currently an element of the deal. The alliance between GM and PSA involves logistics, purchasing and engineering, according to Opel. PSA's Rennes site in France currently produces the C5 and 508, while Opel’s Ruesselsheim plant builds the sized Insignia and Astra models.

Jean-Luc Perrard, the head of the Rennes plant, told a French daily in May 2012 that production of the replacement C5 will move to a GM site.

Should Opel start producing PSA's mid-sized cars at its Ruesselsheim site, the move counteracts plans to halt the production of the Astra at the plant, and to build the model only in factories at Ellesmere Port, England, and Gliwice, Poland, according to previous reports. In exchange, PSA would gain production of the Opel Zafira minivan at an unidentified French plant, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung disclosed.

The partnership between GM and PSA entails building both carmakers’ mid-sized cars based on GM platforms while subcompacts like Opel Corsa and Citroen C3 are based on PSA technology.

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