The partnership will see PSA produce a Toyota-branded medium-sized van based on its existing Peugeot Expert and Citroen Dispatch vehicles - much like the Fiat Sucdo, which is produced under a similar agreement. The two groups will also collaborate on the next generation of the light commercial vehicles – also to be manufactured by PSA – that should tie the companies together beyond 2020.
Toyota will participate in the development of the next-generation vehicles and the industrial investment costs, although there are no plans for joint production or capital tie-ups between the companies.
A Toyota Australia spokesman told CarAdvice the vans produced under the joint venture would only be sold in Europe and would not be sold in our market, and said the HiAce would continue to lead the brand’s charge in the light commercial vehicle market in the foreseeable future.
The new commercial vehicle agreement expands the partnership between the French and Japanese companies, which already collaborate on the Toyota Peugeot Citroen Automobile Czech (TPCA) joint venture, which gave life to the Citroen C1, Peugeot 107 and Toyota Aygo city cars that are produced in the Czech Republic and sold throughout Europe.
The announcement comes at a delicate time for PSA, after it was forced to cut 8000 workers from its European operations less than two weeks ago. Amid the financial turmoil, PSA sees joint ventures as an effective way to reduce its costs and streamline its business, and already has partnerships with Fiat, Mitsubishi, BMW and a number of Chinese manufacturers.
Toyota is no stranger to collaborations either, enjoying international success with the launch of the Subaru-assembled Toyota 86 coupe, and recently expanding its wide-ranging partnership with BMW to include diesel and hybrid powertrain sharing, lithium-ion battery and hydrogen fuel cell technology development, and the development and production of a new sports car.