PARIS (Reuters) - PSA, the maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars, will start making commercial vans at its Russian plant in early 2018 as it seeks to triple sales volumes outside its main European markets, it said on Monday.
The Kaluga plant will add the Peugeot Expert and Citroen Jumpy vans to its production line of passenger cars from the first quarter of next year.
A larger range is key for the Peugeot and Citroën brands’ prospects in Russia, Christophe Bergerand, executive vice president of Groupe PSA, said in a statement.
“Our commercial offensive is also aimed at meeting the needs of small (and) medium-sized enterprises emerging again in Russia,” he added.
Russia’s car market is rebounding after several years of decline during an economic slowdown brought on by the slump in world oil prices and international sanctions against Moscow.
Auto sales in Russia were up 17.3 percent in October year-on-year, data published this month showed. That was the eighth consecutive month of improvement and total sales in 2017 are on track to regain the level seen in 2015, the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee has said.
PSA already makes Citroen C4 and Peugeot 408 cars in Russia.
“We will also begin production of Citroën SpaceTourer and Peugeot Traveller passenger vehicles in a few months,” Bergerand said.
PSA said it was aiming to source half the components for the vans locally, compared with 35 percent for the Citroen C4 and Peugeot 408.
Reporting by Richard Lough; Editing by Mark Potter