Opel’s Zaragoza site in Spain will build future subcompact minivans for the carmaker and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, General Motor’s European unit has said. The minivans will be underpinned by a PSA platform. Opel's engineering team in Ruesselsheim, Germany, will lead engineering for the joint project while PSA will provide powertrains.
Opel said that the first minivans under the joint project will be launched in 2016. Media reports have indicated that the Zaragoza site will produce the next Citroen C3 Picasso minivan, which is currently built at PSA’s Trnava plant in Slovakia.
The site presently produces the Opel Meriva small minivan and Corsa subcompact, and is set to build the Mokka small SUV in 2014. GM and PSA agreed to collaborate in 2012 as part of their bid to post a turnaround in Europe, where the vehicle market is still on a slump.
There have been media speculations that PSA may produce an Opel model, saying that Opel Zafira compact minivan due 2017, could be built at the carmaker’s Sochaux plant in France. Opel is building the current Zafira at its Bochum site in Germany, which is being closed.
Opel said in the statement that the alliance between GM and PSA is based on a “fair balance." GM and PSA are targeting savings of $2 billion with their alliance, which entailed the US carmaker taking a 7-percent stake in the French company. Since signing the partnership deal, GM and PSA have aligned purchasing and logistics, and are working to develop new models together.