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The PSA Group, parent of Peugeot, Citroen and most recently Opel, has announced it will develop an all-new vehicle platform with ChangAn Automobile that will underpin its upcoming one-tonne ute, which will launch “by 2020”.

In an agreement signed this week, the French and Chinese companies announced they would co-develop a new architecture to be implemented at ChangAn’s manufacturing facility in Dingzhou, China, dedicated to light commercial vehicles (LCV).

As part of the project, both firms will collaborate on the development of a new one-tonne ute, which will be offered by both manufacturers in their respective markets.

In its press release, PSA said: “This new vehicle should meet the most stringent worldwide regulations and customer’s expectations with a very strong design and uncompromised quality and durability”.

Above: the Peugeot Pick Up, an unrelated ute, is based on the Dongfeng Rich (itself based on the old D22 Nissan Navara)

The LCV market accounted for 14 million vehicles globally last year, with the one-tonne ute representing 18 per cent of commercial sales worldwide, and a yearly increase of 5.0 per cent.

Additionally, in Australia, the ute has dominated Australia’s VFACTS sales charts of late, with the Toyota HiLux finishing 2016 as the country’s most popular vehicle.

“This new product, which is complementary to the Peugeot Pick Up recently launched in Africa, is in line with the core model strategy of Groupe PSA and will support our come back on this growing market segment,” said Patrice Lucas, executive vice president of programs and strategy for PSA.

“It will contribute to achieve the objectives set for the Push to Pass plan regarding LCVs with a target to increase volumes by 30% by 2018 and triple overseas volumes by 2021.”

The new ute will complement the Peugeot Pick Up (pictured), which was launched in the African market early this year and is a rebadged version of Dongfeng’s Rich ute – itself a version of the old D22 Nissan Navara.

The Chinese company has been a stakeholder of Peugeot’s since 2014.

PSA’s announcement also confirms that the company’s new ute will not use the Toyota HiLux’s platform, which was reported in early 2016.

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