The Villaverde plant of PSA/Peugeot-Citroen in Madrid, Spain commenced in April production of the C4 Cactus compact hatchback, the only model it would build starting 2015. The site has hired 200 new workers this year to bring its total workforce to 1,600 people and to support the commencement of C4 Cactus production.
The plant will increase the production of the new C4 until the output reaches 380 units daily in July. That means that the Villaverde plant will be able to build nearly 85,000 Cactus units annually, which is still much lower that the site’s annual capacity of 200,000 units.
Plant director Jose Carlos Robredo Bertol didn’t provide production targets since “the output will depend on the success of the model.” PSA just opened the order books for the C4 Cactus in select countries in Europe like France and Italy.
Bertol said they are now working to supply dealers in Europe with the C4 Cactus, and then work on customers’ orders. He remarked that the site is prepared to adapt to the demands of the marketplace, telling Automotive News Europe that it would take three months to add a third shift at the Villaverde site.
He said PSA could add a fourth shift at weekends if needed. He said that the site needs to hire 1,800 more employees to be able to fully tap its full capacity. The Citroen C4 Cactus is underpinned by PSA’s PF1 subcompact platform – on which C3, DS3 and Peugeot 207, 208 and 2008 are based -- despite being a compact.
According to Citroen, the subcompact platform helps keep C4 Cactus lighter and more fuel efficient. The Villaverde site, which only builds PF1-based models, was shut down for 70 days in 2013, producing only 50,000 units of the outgoing Peugeot 207 subcompact.
The Peugeot 207 Plus hatchback and 207 CC convertible – which will be discontinued in June and in 2015, respectively – are being built on the same assembly line as the C4 Cactus.