PARIS - French coachbuilder Heuliez is hoping that rising demand for coupe-convertibles will guarantee its future after production of Citroen wagons finishes late next year.
Heuliez needs new contracts to compensate for the loss of Citroen Xantia wagon and XM wagon assembly at its plant in Cerizay, France. Heuliez built 22,500 wagons for Citroen last year.
Instead of a cloth roof, a coupe-convertible has a powered steel roof with a glass rear window that folds into the trunk. Heuliez said it is talking to Renault about assembling a coupe-convertible based on the next Megane.
Heuliez is also keen to supply coupe-convertible roof modules to automakers. It already has the contract to provide the roof and trunk system for the forthcoming Peugeot 206 coupe-convertible. Heuliez is also unveiling a concept car at the Geneva auto show that features new convertible roof technology.
Gerard Queveau, chairman of holding company Groupe Henri Heuliez, and Paul Rivault, the new chief operating officer, said they are trying hard to find new customers beyond PSA/Peugeot-Citroen.