• Nov 10th 2006 at 7:54AM
  • 12

Fiat and PSA Peugeot-Citroen have taken the wraps off their new jointly-produced compact utility vans this week. The new Peugeot Expert, Citroen Dispatch and Fiat Scudo will be officially launched in January to replace the three vans of the same names currently on the market.

As you can see from the picture, the vans are essentially identical, with only a slightly different nose to make them identifiable as belonging to their respective brands, making this joint venture an obvious exercise in badge engineering. The lightweight vans are available in a variety of configurations with various body styles and payload capacities. Although they're mainly commercial vehicles, a "combi-van" nine-passenger configuration is also available, which is likely to be popular with taxi and shuttle-bus services in Europe and elsewhere.

The vans are being built at the Sevel Nord plant in the north of France. Sevel is an acronym for Société Européenne de Véhicules Légers SpA (European Society of Lightweight Vehicles); the plant also builds a range of MPVs for Fiat and PSA, sold as the Citroën C8, Peugeot 807, Fiat Ulysse and Lancia Phedra.

The vans were unveiled at Sevel Nord together by Jean-Martin Folz and Sergio Marchionne, chief executives of PSA and Fiat respectively, both of whom recently revealed are leaving their posts.

Follow the jump for more pics and the full press release

[Source: PSA Peugeot Citroen]

Press Release

PSA Peugeot Citroen and Fiat Unveil New Compact Vans

Jean-Martin Folz, Chief Executive Officer of PSA Peugeot Citroën and Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer of Fiat, yesterday unveiled a new family of compact light commercial vehicles at the Sevel Nord plant in Northern France.

To be launched in mid-January 2007, the newcomers succeed the Peugeot Expert, Citroën Dispatch and Fiat Scudo, and keep their respective names.

These new compact light commercial vehicles are available in a broad range of body styles with volumes of 5 to 7m3 and payloads of 1,000 and 1,200 kg, allowing business users to select the right vehicle for their specific business needs.

In addition, the two groups are extending their ranges with a new passenger vehicle offering, the combi-van, a van-based large MPV seating up to nine passengers.

The new vehicles for both groups are produced in Valenciennes, Northern France, at the Sevel Nord plant, with a workforce of nearly 4,400 employees and producing up to 130,000 units a year in three shifts.

The Sevel Nord site which is operationally managed by PSA Peugeot Citroën also assembles the Peugeot, Citroën, Fiat and Lancia brands' top-of-the-range MPVs.

To manufacture these diverse ranges of vehicles priority action was given to modernising the workshops, redesigning logistics and improving workstation ergonomics. The Sevel Nord plant assembles as many as 14 different body styles on a single line: the top of the range MPVs, the new compact light commercial vehicles and the combi-vans. Industrial investment for the production of these new compact light commercial vehicles and combi-vans totals €440 million.

Nearly one million units of the previous generation of Peugeot Expert, Citroën Dispatch and Fiat Scudo models, launched in 1995, have so far been produced at the Sevel Nord plant. These light commercial vehicles helped trigger the boom in the compact light commercial vehicle segment in Europe with their novel car-like driveability, an offering not previously available on light commercial vehicles.

Following the renewal of their larger light commercial vehicle ranges: the Citroën Relay, Peugeot Boxer and Fiat Ducato, in May 2006, the two groups are continuing to rejuvenate their light commercial vehicle ranges.

The next step in this market offensive will occur in 2008 with the launch of a new small van manufactured in Turkey under Tofas management.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have been searching for a small cargo van and was wondering about buying and importing one. Any thoughts?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Evidently, European customers must equate sinfully ugly front ends with efficiency and utility.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Citroen Dispatch is a new name. The old name was the Citroen Jumpy, expect in the UK market, where they did use Dispatch name from 1995 to 2003.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #2: This large bumpers and high headlights are quite practical when hitting objects on buildings sites. :-)

      I am also wondering why there is virtually no market in the US for small cargo vans between 2.5 and 7 cubic metres -- the size of a Kangoo/Doblo/Berlingo up to T5/Trafic/Scudo. Car based panel vans like the HHR often have less then 2 cubic metres cargo space.

      Maybe Renault will bring some of the Nissan labeled commercial vehicles to the US in the next years.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The people mover version could be just perfect for an extended European group vacation. Plenty of room for bags, golf clubs, etc. Splitting the cost of rental and fuel should make it very economical also.
      • 3 Years Ago
      My company have the Fiat Scudo's they are great Commercial vans and they are really fuel efficient. I also looked at the Citroen vans but they did not seem to be better value for money than the Fiats. I have just checked out the new commercial vans from Fiat here http://www.fiatprofessional.co.uk .
      • 8 Years Ago
      @10: Expect Renault to come to the US with a Nissan labeled "Trafic" that is either built in Argentina or Mexico.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Safari & Astro vans came in panel form. I personaly used a Safari for work untill I needed more space. I never understood why GM dropped them. I still have the Safari for personal use and would have bought one again once this one wore out. The French makes hadn't done well in North America but maybe these vans could cause their return.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #3, the Dodge Sprinter is actually known to the rest of the world as the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Mark, look closely at the license plate on the red Citroen in the first pic (between the Fiat and Peugeot).

      Seems like the Jumpy name's not dead yet.
      • 8 Years Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well acctualy Dodge Sprinter looks a lot like this Fiat. I begin to see them more and more in USA.

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