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Argentina makes a small car again after 4 years


It is the New Peugeot 208, released today. The last local model in this category had been the Chevrolet Classic, which was discontinued in 2016.

Luis Ceriotto

07/31/2020 - 16:23

  • Clarí
  • Economy
  • Economy

The automaker Groupe PSA today began serial production of its New Peugeot 208 model at its El Palomar plant in Buenos Aires, after concluding an investment cycle of $ 320 million that it had started four years ago. Precisely, in 2016 it was when small cars were stopped being manufactured in Argentina: at the end of that year the last units were produced, both the Chevrolet Corsa Classic from Rosario, and the Renault Clío from Córdoba.

Launch of the New Peugeot 208 in El Palomar

The launch of the new 208 not only increases the number of locally produced models, but also contributes to a certain commercial logic that had been verified in recent years: the 208 is a highly demanded vehicle in Argentina but had been manufactured in Brazil , in the plant that the French automaker has in the city of Porto Real. A no less important fact is that since its launch, more 208 have been sold in Argentina than in Brazil.

"It is a car that has just been launched in Europe and that won the" Car of the Year "award. In other words, it is not a Mercosur car ," said Chicanera, a company source. 

With the launch of the new model, the El Palomar plant is working with all of its staff, without suspensions . They even had to go out to make temporary contracts to replace the workers who cannot go to work, because they are part of the risk groups.

The interior of the El Palomar factory

PSA's investment was focused, in addition to the new model, on the renovation of its production platform, called the "Common Modular Platform" (CMP). It is a production line where vehicles of different sizes and also with different engines can be manufactured in a modular way: it is prepared to assemble both cars with combustion engines and electric ones .

"The electrified multi-energy platform is the first in the entire automotive industry on the continent, " said Groupe PSA director for Argentina, Rodrigo Pérez Graziano .

Between models and versions, the PSA plant has ten types of vehicle in production: the New 208 and the Peugeot 308, 408, along with the utility Van Partner, Partner Mixta and Partner passengers. With the Citroën brand it produces the C4 Lounge sedan and the Citroën Berlingo Van, Berlingo Mixta and Berlingo passenger cars.

The new production line, prepared for both combustion engine and electric vehicles.

"The new PEUGEOT 208 is the result of intense work by our teams with the auto parts sector and the UOM union," said Patrice Lucas , President Latin America and member of the Groupe PSA Executive Committee. It has not yet been launched commercially, so its Public price was not defined , company sources said the launch will be during August. 

El Palomar is one of the oldest automobile factories in the country, inaugurated in 1960, as part of the Fiat group, and later by Sevel, until it was re-acquired by Peugeot from the Macri group in 1997. It is the only one whose staff continues to be unionized. with the Unión Obrera Metalúrgica (UOM). The other terminals negotiate their parity with Smata.

In the other local automakers, medium-sized cars, pick-ups (the market with the greatest export potential), utility vehicles and, soon, SUV-type vehicles are manufactured.

The Sandero, Stepway and Logan models are produced at the Cordovan plant in Renault, all of them called "Segment B", and the utility Kangoo. On the same site, its worldwide partner Nissan produces the Frontier pick up. And a few kilometers beyond the Cordovan ring road, Fiat manufactures the Cronos, another model in the B segment, while its neighbor Iveco produces trucks. In Rosario, Chevrolet produces the Cruze, a C-segment median and has an investment of $ 350 million underway to launch a new SUV-type vehicle.

The rest of the local automakers are all in the Province: neighboring Ford and Volkswagen manufacture pick ups, although the latter is making an investment of US $ 650 million to modernize its plant and launch the new Volkswagen Tarek SUV. Toyota produces the Hilux pickup and the SW4 (the SUV version of the Hilux), while at the other end of the Buenos Aires fourth cordon, in Virrey del Pino, Mercedes Benz produces the Sprinter utility.

Source: clarin

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