PSA Peugeot Citroen CEO open to expand mini-car collaboration beyond Toyota

Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:35am EDT
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By Norihiko Shirouzu

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen (PEUP.PA: Quote) is open to bringing in more partners to its existing collaboration with Toyota Motor Corp(7203.T: Quote) to share the cost of designing and manufacturing mini-cars, according to its chief executive.

Carlos Tavares, PSA Peugeot Citroen's chief since last year, said the company's current cooperation with Toyota is "moving very smoothly, very collaboratively," but he is also inclined to expand the collaboration to include more automakers to spread costs further.

Taraves said he wishes to keep PSA Peugeot Citroen's cost-sharing effort with Toyota in mini-cars sustained.

"Our intention is to continue with Toyota," he told a small group of reporters earlier this week on the sidelines of the Shanghai auto show that opened on Monday.

"Now if there are other (automakers) who want to join, of course I would have to discuss it with my partner Toyota...but PSA's position is, yes, we're open to bringing in other partners who would like to share (costs)."

A Toyota spokesman in Tokyo did not respond to calls requesting comment.

"To make A-segment cars, it's better to have the kind of grouping of several (automakers) that are going to share a given investment and then make derivatives out of the common investment," Tavares said.

Toyota and PSA Peugeot Citroen designed mini-cars mostly for markets within Europe and have been producing them at a jointly-run plant in the Czech Republic since 2005. The plant currently has capacity to manufacture 340,000 cars a year for all three brands: Toyota, Peugeot and Citroen, according to Toyota.   Continued...

PSA Peugeot Citroen Chief Executive Officer Carlos Tavares attends a hearing at the National Assembly in Paris April 15, 2015.  REUTERS/Charles Platiau