PARIS - PSA/Peugeot-Citroen will move its Peugeot and Citroen styling studios into a single location starting in 2001.
The two studios will continue to be managed separately, but group-wide design operations will be based jointly in Velizy, near Paris. A new building to be erected there will also house many of the group's vehicle engineering teams.
Peugeot's design center, run by Gerard Welter, is in La Garenne-Colombes, a Paris suburb. Citroen's styling team, managed by Art Blakeslee, is currently housed in Velizy.
'We are going to create a PSA design center by gathering the Peugeot and Citroen teams in the same place,' said Robert Peugeot, executive vice president in charge of innovation and quality.
'The center will feature styling studios, designers, modeling and prototype teams. We want to link the people who are in charge of creating new car concepts. However, each brand will retain its own chief designer.'
PSA employs 600 people in its design departments.
The new center will be operational by 2001.
Robert Peugeot, who supervises Peugeot and Citroen's styling teams and advanced vehicle programs, will move to Velizy. He will be joined there by Roland Vardanega, executive vice president in charge of platform teams, and Jean Wolff, executive vice president in charge of engineering and purchasing. Peugeot, Vardanega and Wolff are members of PSA's executive committee.
Simultaneously, PSA will reorganize its engineering teams. Velizy will become the company's lead technical center for vehicle engineering.
It will house the PF1 and PF3 engineering teams responsible for small- and upper-range cars. Velizy will also become the center for platform teams and body engineering teams.
La Garenne-Colombes will focus on powertrain engineering.
PSA has two other technical centers: Carrieres-sous-Poissy, 40km west of Paris, is dedicated to commercial vehicles and minivans made with Fiat Group; Sochaux, in eastern France, is responsible for the development of the vehicles based on the PF2 medium-size platform.
'The temptation to have one technical center for every department does exist,' said Robert Peugeot. 'But we think that to have all our technical staff - some 10,000 people - in the same location would not necessarily bring them together.'