The PSA Group is, reportedly, looking into moving production of the Peugeot 308 and the Opel Astra in the UK and Germany.
The Opel/Vauxhall Astra is currently made in the UK and Poland while the Peugeot 308 is produced in Sochaux, France. PSA has been working on a production shakeup for its compact models, according to AutoNews.
The French car group is currently evaluating Ellesmere Port in the UK and Ruesselsheim in Germany for the production of the next generation of the Peugeot 308 and Opel Astra, said a source close to PSA.
Out of the two models, the Opel Astra is the more complicated issue due to UK’s unresolved Brexit situation. If the country leaves the EU without a trade deal, Ellesmere Port would most likely be limited in building right-hand drive models only, with production of left-hand drive cars to be moved to Germany, always according to this source.
A PSA spokesman said that they are investigating whether to build the Astra in the UK but didn’t comment on whether the 308’s production could be moved as well.
The future of the Ellesmere Port factory has been in jeopardy for the last couple of years due to the Brexit. PSA has already reduced staff and production output in order to bring the facility’s profitability closer to that of its French factories.
Since buying Opel/Vauxhall from GM in 2017, PSA has been busy switching all new models to its own platforms. The company has announced that their Polish factory, which produces Astra models so far, will focus on building large commercial vans for the group, starting from 2021.
PSA has already confirmed that the Sochaux and Mulhouse factories in France will focus on building compact and midsize models based on their EMP2 platform. Sochaux already builds the Peugeot 308 and 3008, the DS5 and the Opel Grandland X, with Mulhouse producing the Peugeot 2008 and 508, the Citroen C4, DS4 and DS7 Crossback.
Moving production of the next 308 out of Sochaux could free up some needed capacity at the factory, which runs at full steam thanks to the success of the 3008 SUV.