The PSA Peugeot Citroen group is poised to enter the global pick-up truck market with a ute potentially based on the Toyota HiLux, according to UK reports filed overnight.
The company is expected to make an announcement on its group strategy on April 5, where its plans in the commercial vehicle market will be made clearer.
PSA has a platform sharing arrangement with Toyota on its mid-sized vans — Toyota’s version of the Expert and Dispatch is called ProAce, and it’s the European equivalent of our HiAce — leading some to suggest a continuance of this alliance into pick-ups.
Both Autocar and Auto Express are suggesting a joint-venture (JV) to build a PSA ute off the Toyota HiLux architecture is a logical step. The logistics of PSA going it alone are unfavourable, which is a key reason why Fiat has a JV with Mitsubishi, and both Renault and Mercedes-Benz are basing their forthcoming utes on the Nissan Navara.
Peugeot was the last PSA brand to have a pick-up truck on sale in Europe, selling the 504 pickups until the early 1990s.
Peugeot CEO Maxime Picat spoke favourably towards the idea of a PSA pick-up at the European launch of the Peugeot Expert and Citroen Dispatch vans this week, telling Auto Express:
“We always consider the pick-up market as an opportunity, it’s part of our history. We’re thinking about it. We update our group strategy on Tuesday 5th April and we’ll mention which cars we will be targeting. I will be able to reveal more then.”
CEO of PSA Europe Denis Martin said in the same interview: “Maybe. You will see. It’s not a question for today, but you will know more next week.”
Pick-up trucks are a lucrative business opportunity, as evidenced by the growing number of brands wading into the space. Sales are booming globally, in South East Asia and South America, but also Europe, and can be excellent profit drivers.
Naturally, until any plans for a PSA pick-up, if they exist, are confirmed, there won’t be much in the way of official comment. However, we do know that PSA’s Australian importer Sime Darby wants to grow its commercial vehicle sales.