PSA Group is rapidly increasing exports of a 1.2-liter turbocharged gasoline engine to Europe from its joint venture with China's Dongfeng Motor.
The move enables the French automaker to support its sales growth in Europe while making a better use of its engine plant in China, which is operating below capacity.
At the beginning of the year, the plant received two unexpected orders for more than 4,000 engines from PSA in Europe, said Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile, a 50-50 joint venture between PSA and Dongfeng.
To fill the orders, the JV started shipping the engines by air this month while continuing to transport them by sea and railway.
The JV expects to export up to 90,000 engines to Europe in the first half of the year.
The engine for export is a 1.2-liter three-cylinder turbocharged direct-injection gasoline engine with maximum power of 100 kw (134 hp).
The engine is produced only at Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen’s engine plant in Xiangyang, central China, and PSA’s engine factory in Douvrin, northern France.
Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen started exporting the engine in July 2017. Through last year, it shipped roughly 53,000 engines for PSA’s vehicles made in Europe.
The JV, headquartered Wuhan, can produce to 1 million passenger vehicles and an equal number of engines for the Peugeot and Citroen brands.
This year, the JV’s vehicle and engine production continues to operate well below capacity because of stagnated sales.
For the first two months, its vehicle sales dropped 5.9 percent year on year to 46,614 vehicles.