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.

With its incredibly balanced and streamlined curves, the design of the 508 expresses a car "carved from a solid", displaying elegance, quality and robustness. The front part of the Peugeot 508 shows the improvement of the Marque's new design codes first launched on the SR1 concept vehicle, with a sole grille rendered in a flowing style and cutting headlights with a distinctly marked visual appeal, like its "LED tubes" seen both during the night and during the day.

Also, at the back, three red "claws" cover three rows of LEDs on the car. The 508 SW has a more complex aura, with a red lamp that lights up when the back lights are turned on.

The basic and sleek style of the fascia, the parts used, the accurate finish, the durability and innovation used (four-zone air conditioning, color "head-up display", "hands-free" access and start-up) contribute to the exclusive aura of the passenger area. Every passenger gets an exclusive feel thanks specifically to the vehicle's spaciousness. On the SW, this in-car satisfaction is improved by the huge panoramic glass ceiling.

The boot is welcoming and practical as well, with a large volume of 545 liters of liquid (515 dm3 based on the VDA standard) for the Saloon and 660 liters of liquid (560 dm3 VDA) for the SW. The back seats can be folded to create a flat floor, expanding the volume to 1,581 liters of liquid (1,381 dm3 VDA) for the Saloon and 1,865 litres (1,598 dm3 VDA) for the SW.

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