The deal between PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and Changan Automobile Co. to set up a 50-50 joint venture in China has been finalized. In a statement, PSA announced that the initial focus of the venture is to introduce the Citroen DS upscale car line in China and launch a dedicated new brand for the venture.
This March, PSA's Citroen brand launched its first DS car, the C3-based DS3, in Europe. This sporty sub-brand is partly inspired by BMW's Mini when it comes to product personalization.
The DS name goes back to Citroen's first DS, which was first launched in 1955 and had since become a 20th century automotive icon. The DS4, which is based on the C4 compact car, is the next model in the lineup. It will go on sale in Europe early next year.
PSA also disclosed that its team-up with Changan also enables the joint venture to sell vehicles under the partners' other brands, Peugeot and Changan, at a later date.
PSA added that this joint venture will design passenger cars and light commercial vehicles with an initial annual production capacity of 200,000 vehicles and engines at Shenzhen in Guangdong province.
This joint venture, which will be based in Shenzhen, will operate two production lines, made possible by renovating an existing line and the construction of a new line. An r&d center will also be built. The launch of the first vehicle is slated to take place in the second-half of 2012. [via autonews - sub. required]