PSA Peugeot Citroen looking for partner to replace Fiat in commercial vehicle JV image

French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen and Fiat are building together light commercial vehicles under a joint venture which is due to expire in 2017.

As Fiat will exit the Sevelnord venture after the contract expires, PSA is already looking for a replacement. Europe’s second largest carmaker wants to share the cost of developing and manufacturing replacements for its Peugeot Expert and Citroen Jumpy vans assembled at a plant shared with Fiat.

“We are looking for solutions for our future utility vehicles. In our industry it is hard to develop them alone, so we need to find the right partner,” PSA Peugeot Citroen chief executive Philippe Varin said on Friday. He declined to comment on possible candidates to replace Fiat.

The statements were made at the production launch of the Peugeot 208 at the group’s Poissy plant near Paris. PSA expects to make 550,000 units of its new supermini in 2013, the model’s first full year of production. The 208 will account for 40 percent of Peugeot brand deliveries in Europe, according to manufacturing chief Denis Martin.

The car will be produced in two French plants and the Slovak plant in Trnava. PSA is counting on the 208 to help it close the growing gap with European market leader Volkswagen.