Trnava, September 14 (TASR) – Marking its tenth anniversary, Trnava-based carmarker PSA Groupe Slovakia on Wednesday presented a new model of the Citroen C3, which will have its global premiere at the Paris Motor Show on September 29.
The new car, which has required an investment of €80 million, will be produced exclusively in Slovakia. Meanwhile, Citroen C3 Picasso and Peugeot 208 are the other two models currently produced in Trnava.
The ceremony on Wednesday featured Linda Jackson, CEO of Citroen Brand, and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, among other guests.
“Talking about the significance of car production for Slovakia would be like carrying coals to Newcastle. More than 1 million cars were produced here [in Slovakia] last year; calculating it per capita, we’re the world’s number one,” said Fico, noting that the car industry represents 5 percent of Slovakia’s GDP.
There were concerns during the economic crisis of 2008-09 that such a strong orientation toward automotive production could be a problem, but in fact this sector helped the country to get through this difficult period, said Fico.
“There’s no better way of celebrating the tenth anniversary than presenting a new car model,” added the prime minister.
According to PSA Groupe Slovakia general director Remi Girardon, the new model will bring several new impetuses for the Trnava plant, which has produced more than 2.15 million vehicles over the past ten years. The new Citroen C3 should make up 50 percent of the factory’s output in 2018, with the overall annual vehicle production at the plant reaching 360,000 vehicles in 2018.
“The arrival of this new model will also significantly deepen the integration of new local suppliers, mainly from Slovakia, but also from neighbouring Central European countries, attracting them closer to Trnava,” said Girardon, adding that 86 percent of supplies for Citroen C3 will be from Slovakia and other CEE countries.
The Trnava plant made more than 303,000 cars in 2015, up by 19 percent year-on-year, said company spokesman Peter Svec. Meanwhile, it’s estimated that the 2016 output will reach 315,000.
While having 3,500 permanent employees, PSA Groupe Slovakia’s activities provide jobs to a total of 10,000 people, if suppliers are also included.
The company has already invested more than €1 billion in Slovakia.