PSA has produced 30 million transmissions at its Valenciennes factory near Calais, France since opening in 1981, and it has just launched an expansion there. While the plant produces four different types of transmissions, the expansion is focused on the two newest designs for the mechanical compact gearbox. This transmission is available in two varieties, one fully manual and the second and automated unit that activates the clutch and gear changes robotically.

The new gearboxes are 6-speed units and the automated version is known as the MCP. Both of the units can help reduce fuel consumption by up to five percent. The expansion will add 75,000 square feet to the 452,000 square foot facility. This will allow Peugeot to up production of the fuel saving transmissions from the current 1,750 units to 2,625 units daily.

[Source: Peugeot]

PRESS RELEASE:

Mechanical Compact Gearbox Production Unit Extended - 30 Millionth Gearbox Produced

Roland Vardanega, Member of the Managing Board and Executive Vice President, Manufacturing and Components of PSA Peugeot Citroën, today inaugurated the extension of the mechanical compact gearbox production unit at the Valenciennes plant in France's Nord Pas de Calais region.

Roland Vardanega, Member of the Managing Board and Executive Vice President, Manufacturing and Components of PSA Peugeot Citroën, today inaugurated the extension of the mechanical compact gearbox production unit at the Valenciennes plant in France's Nord Pas de Calais region.

The ceremony, which was attended by local and regional officials, also provided a opportunity to celebrate the manufacture of the 30 millionth gearbox produced at the Valenciennes site since its opening in 1981.

The extension adds 7,000 square meters to the production unit, which already comprised some 42,000 square meters of existing buildings. Requiring an investment of €83 million, the extension integrates PSA Production System* (SPP) technology that makes the site more efficient and competitive. When it becomes operational in February 2010, production capacity will increase from 1,750 to 2,625 units a day.

Specialised in the manufacture of gearboxes, the Valenciennes plant currently employs 2,250 people. Four types of gearbox are produced on the site, two of which were launched within the past three years:

- The five-speed manually operated BE gearbox launched in 1981
- The AL4 automatic gearbox introduced in 1997
- The six-speed MCP automated gearbox introduced in 2006, which reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 3% to 5% thanks to optimised electronic control of the clutch and gear shifting
- The mechanical compact manual gearbox launched in late 2007 and derived from the MCP gearbox. It also helps to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 5% depending on adaptations.

The Valenciennes plant is a global benchmark in the manufacture of gearboxes. With 1.5 million units produced in 2008, it ranks third worldwide.

*The PSA Production System (SPP) integrates both the Group's manufacturing culture and the principles of lean management as applied to the production process, which will gradually be extended to product design and sales and marketing

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