Toyota is to make its debut in the compact van sector from late 2019 under its latest collaboration with Groupe PSA.
The Toyota-badged Berlingo/ Partner/Combo model will be produced by PSA at its Vigo plant in Spain and will bring development and product cost optimisation benefits, according to the firms, with Toyota to participate in the development and industrial investment costs for the future LCV. It’s not known whether the new compact model will arrive in the UK though.
The new van builds on Toyota’s existing partnership with PSA on mid-size LCVS, which started in 2012 with the Toyota Proace, produced at Groupe PSA’s Hordain plant, in France, and based on the Citroën Dispatch/Peugeot Expert, which next summer will also become the new Vauxhall Vivaro.
The latest deal between the firms – said to enable them to play to their individual strengths – will also see Toyota take financial ownership of the Toyota Peugeot Citroën Automobile Czech s.r.o. (TPCA) plant in Kolin, in the Czech Republic, used to produce the Citroën C1, Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo city cars, while maintaining current production for both companies.
The TPCA joint venture was created by PSA and TMC in 2002 and included a review clause that allowed each partner to reconsider their shareholding.
The plant will become a subsidiary of TME, joining the seven other plants Toyota already operates in Europe.
TMC executive vice president Didier Leroy said: “Today’s announcement reflects the complementarity and excellent relationship that exists between Groupe PSA and Toyota. Our agreement allows each company to play to its strength, while sharing technology and development costs. Our commitment to the Kolin plant demonstrates Toyota’s philosophy of producing cars where we sell them and our long-term manufacturing presence in Europe.”