PARIS -- PSA/Peugeot-Citroen on Thursday launched an extension of its massive transmission factory in Valenciennes, northern France, as part of its effort to lower its fleet CO2 emission.
The French automaker will spend 83 million euros to boost production capacity for two fuel-efficient transmissions made at the plant by about 50 percent to 2,625 units a day beginning in February 2010, PSA said in a statement.
The French carmaker's automated manual and manual transmissions, which are among the newest in the Peugeot and Citroen lineups, help reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 5 percent compared with previous-generation gearboxes.
PSA and Fiat are in a tense battle to have the lowest fleet emissions in Europe.
PSA sees gains for low-CO2 cars
Expanding capacity for the fuel-saving transmissions during the continuing crisis shows PSA's confidence that demand will grow for low-emission vehicles, the spokesman said.
Production capacity for the two transmissions is about 1,750 units a day while the actual output is about 865 daily, a number PSA expects to rise. Total transmission production at Valenciennes is about 6,400 units a day.
The six-speed automated manual and manual transmissions made in Valenciennes are fitted on the Citroen C4 sedan and C4 Picasso minivan as well as the Peugeot 308 compact, 308cc convertible and the new 3008 crossover.
The factory extension -- which adds 7,000 square meters to the existing 42,000 square meter work space -- demonstrates PSA's determination to protect domestic manufacturing, which was a key condition of a 3 billion euro bailout from the French government earlier this year.
The Valenciennes site is PSA's principal transmission production site, with total output of 1.5 million units in 2008.
Transmissions from Valenciennes are fitted onto about 45 percent of all new Peugeots and Citroen's sold worldwide. The plant also supplies transmissions to Renault and Fiat.