PSA/Peugeot-Citroen is intending to shift production of its next C3 subcompact from France to Trnava, Slovakia, sources privy with the carmaker told Reuters. PSA is shifting production of low-margin small cars away from western Europe, where output costs are deemed too high.
The carmaker is currently building the C3 at its Poissy plant near Paris. The subcompact is Citroen's No. 1 model in Europe, selling 48,614 units in the first four months of 2014 and accounting for over 20 percent of the brand’s sales in the continent, according to JATO Dynamics.
One of the sources told Reuters that PSA is commencing technical operations on the Citroen C3 in the coming weeks in Trnava, Slovakia. Two other sources confirmed that PSA has already determined to produce the new C3 in Trnava, Slovakia.
PSA currently produces C3 Picasso minivan and the Peugeot 208 subcompact in the site. A PSA spokesman disclosed that the French carmaker had vowed to preserve its French plants as part of a labor agreement inked in 2013.
PSA chief executive Carlos Tavares as well as predecessor Philippe Varin has been reiterating that it was no longer viable to build volume small cars in France since stiff competition means prices of such vehicles may not be enough to cover production costs.
In comparison, an auto worker in France earns an average of EUR57 per hour, while a counterpart in Slovakia earns an average of EUR15.50 an hour, according to data from Eurostat.
As one of the most compact vehicles in its segment, the new Citroen C3 is suitable for city driving, boasting of dimensions like 3.94 meters in length and 1.71 meters in width as well as a 10.8-meter turning circle.
Despite the compact exterior, the new Citroen C3 offers a spacious interior. Aside from a roomy passenger cabin, the new C3 could accommodate 300 liters of cargo, while a host of storage compartments can be found on the central console, glove box and central armrest. Occupants are provided with semi-high seats that allow for easier access while providing passengers an assured view of their surroundings.
The new Citroen C3 still comes with the so-called Zenith windscreen that enables a visibility that is best in the segment, allowing drivers to enjoy a new level of driving experience. This is because the Zenith windscreen increases front passengers’ upward field of vision by 80 degrees. Thanks to the extraordinary length of the window as well as ultra-slim pillars, the driver has the feeling of being outside the cabin despite being inside. For better forward vision, the strong solar protection on top of the windscreen merges gradually into the regular transparency glass.
In terms of comfort, the new C3 is on top of the field as Citroen is known for offering comfortable rides. Offering a soft ride, the new C3 delivers considerable acoustic and vibration comfort. It also delivers visual and olfactory comfort thanks to large glazed surfaces and a scented air freshener.