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Luton could become centre for PSA group’s van growth plans

Auto Express logo Auto Express 09/11/2017 Joe Holding
Vauxhall Combo front © Auto Express Vauxhall Combo front

The Vauxhall/Opel PACE! recovery plan includes strong targets for commercial vehicle growth that could be good news for the Vauxhall van plant in Luton.

Michael Lohscheller, CEO of Opel/Vauxhall, revealed as part of the PACE! plan that he was targeting an increase in LCV (light commercial vehicle) sales of 25% between 2017 and 2020.

Part of that will come from the new Combo small van, which arrives next year. Like the new Corsa, due in 2019, it will be based on the PSA group small car CMP platform. 

Related: PSA Group CEO - We will unleash potential of Vauxhall (CNBC)

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And like the Corsa, it will be one of the first fully-electric Vauxhall vehicles with a Combo EV set to be available in 2020.

However, with the UK such a commercially valuable market for CV makers, it’s likely that the Vauxhall’s LCV plant in Luton will become PSA’s main plant for larger vans. The Luton plant currently makes Vauxhall’s Vivaro and Movano vans, as well as their Renault and Nissan equivalents.

© REUTERS, Neil Hall

However, as the Vauxhall models move over to use PSA engines and platform technology, the deal with the Renault/Nissan Alliance is expected to come to an end, but Citroen and Peugeot vans could well be built in Luton.

The Vauxhall/Opel PACE! recovery plan aims for profitability for Vauxhall/Opel by 2020 – the first time since 1999.

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