PSA Peugeot Citroën started up its industrial activity in Spain in 1978. In 2002, the company produced 360,000 registered vehicles, making PSA one of the leaders in a fiercely competitive area, by 2005 the plant was producing the 207 hatchback. Fast forward to 2012 and reports were coming out of the area that PSA planned to close the factory there with the loss of 1,000's jobs. Thankfully however PSA discarded the closure of the Madrid plant. Rather, it said a new Citroen model had been assigned there - that model was later revealed as the Citroen C4 Cactus.
The plant commenced production of the C4 Cactus compact hatchback in April, the only model it would be building from 2015. The site has hired 200 new workers this year to bring its total workforce to 1,600 people and to support the commencement of C4 Cactus production. The plant will increase the production of the new C4 until the output reaches 380 units daily in July. That means that the Villaverde plant will be able to build nearly 85,000 Cactus units annually, which is still much lower that the site's annual capacity of 200,000 units.
Plant director Jose Carlos Robredo Bertol didn't provide production targets since "the output will depend on the success of the model." PSA just opened the order books for the C4 Cactus in select countries in Europe like France and Italy.
Bertol said they are now working to supply dealers in Europe with the C4 Cactus, and then work on customers' orders. He remarked that the site is prepared to adapt to the demands of the marketplace, telling Automotive News Europe that it would take three months to add a third shift at the Villaverde site.
He said PSA could add a fourth shift at weekends if needed. He said that the site needs to hire 1,800 more employees to be able to fully tap its full capacity.
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