The next-generation versions of the Vauxhall Movano, Citroen Relay and Peugeot Boxer will be built at Opel’s Gliwice factory in Poland from 2022. Currently, the Movano is built by Renault in France and the Relay and Peugeot are built by Fiat in Italy but, for the first time in decades, Opel will lead a panel van project.
Up until 2018, the medium and large Opel/Vauxhall vans (Vivaro and Movano) were built by Renault in France but with Groupe PSA (Peugeot and Citroen) purchasing the German and British brands in 2018, production of the medium van -the Vivaro – was quickly handed over to PSA and the new model was based on the Citroen Dispatch and Peugeot Expert.
However, as PSA’s large vans were built by Fiat in Italy, the board decided that Renault would continue to build the Movano for Opel and Vauxhall in the short term. However, PSA now want to push forward plans to build their own van and Opel in Russelsheim will be taking the lead for research and development and production taking place at an Opel factory in Poland.
Old Astra factory to build new van
The factory in Gliwice had previously produced the Astra car and while the plant manager Andrzej Korpak acknowledged that it would be a challenge to switch over to large panel vans, he looked forward to the opportunity to show the wider company what the factory was capable of.
“Welcoming the production of large vans is a major milestone for the future of the Gliwice location and also a big challenge to achieve the highest levels of efficiency and quality for the satisfaction of business customers”, explained Andrzej.
“We will demonstrate in the years to come our agility to adapt our processes to the production of this type of vehicle and confirm the confidence placed in us.”
Meanwhile, Yann Vincent, the Groupe PSA executive vice-president for manufacturing and supply chain, explained how this is part of the group’s wider plan to harmonise production across the continent.
“This good news for Gliwice is a clear demonstration that our excellent plant programme is being executed across all European countries with synergies and efficiency. The industrial performance will be a key enabler to serve our ambitions in the commercial vehicle market, guaranteeing our customers the best offer in this segment for all our brands”, Yann remarked.
PSA is counting on higher light commercial vehicle sales and profits as part of the Push to Pass 2021 strategic plan. The factory will have a capacity of around 100,000 vans a year and is expected to start production in 2022.