According to chief executive officer Carlos Tavares, French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen – the second largest in Europe – would like to expand beyond its ongoing partnership with Japan’s Toyota Motor, the world’s biggest carmaker.
PSA and Toyota have had a successful partnership for years, sharing the cost of design, development and production of the minicar trio Toyota Aygo, Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108. The French CEO would see that cooperation extended to include even other automakers in the partnership to build the minicars. Tavares, PSA Peugeot Citroen’s boss since 2014, said the agreement between the company and Japan’s powerhouse is “moving very smoothly, very collaboratively,” and he now sees the opportunity to spread the expenses even further by bringing another partner into the mix. “Our intention is to continue with Toyota,” he commented on the sidelines of the Shanghai auto show taking place in China this week. “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. ”
Tavares believes that when it comes to the so-called A segment, or minicars, grouping several automakers and then having them share all the expenses for design, development and production would make sense, each being able to easily and cheaply produce its own derivative. PSA and Toyota started collaborating on minicars mostly for the European market and are producing them since 2005 at a joint venture factory in the Czech Republic – with annual capacity for 340,000 units.