Stellantis to build large vans for Toyota in Europe

Stellantis will build a large commercial van for Toyota in its factories in Poland and Italy starting in mid-2024, including a full-electric version.

The collaboration will give Toyota a large van to sell in Europe for the first time.

Stellantis currently builds compact and midsize vans for Toyota, in both commercial and passenger versions. No name was announced for the new van, but Toyota’s compact van is called the Proace City and the midsize van the Proace.

The Proace has been built at Stellantis’ factory in Hordain, France, since 2012, and the Proace City in Vigo, Spain, since 2019. The new model will be built at Stellantis’ Sevel factory in Adessa, southern Italy, and Gliwice, Poland. The move will give Stellantis five brands on common van platforms: Citroen, Fiat, Opel, Peugeot, Toyota and Vauxhall.

The large Toyota-branded van will join the Citroen Jumper, the Fiat Ducato, the Opel/Vauxhall Movano and the Peugeot Boxer. Stellantis sells the vans in diesel and full-electric versions.

Stellantis’ share of Europe’s van market became an issue ahead of the merger between Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group that created the new group in January 2021. The EU’s competition authority ruled in December 2020 that PSA had to extend its van agreement with Toyota by increasing capacity for Toyota and cutting transfer prices for the vehicles, spare parts and accessories.

The EU had concerns that FCA and PSA would dominate Europe’s van market with a combined share of 34 percent, heavily outgunning Renault and Ford, each with a 16 percent share, Volkswagen with 12 percent and Daimler with 10 percent. This dominance could mean higher prices for customers, the Commission said.

“This agreement strengthens our leadership in the EU30 for LCVs and low emission vehicles and moves us a step closer to realizing our Dare Forward 2030 goal of becoming the undisputed global light commercial vehicle leader, in terms of technology, manufacturing, market share and profitability,” Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said in a statement Monday.

Stellantis has also created a separate light-commercial vehicles business unit, which Taveres said will have more freedom to develop new technologies such as hydrogen fuel-cell powertrains.

The light-commercial vehicle market has remained relatively strong in Europe, largely due to demand for online sales and deliveries. According to industry group ACEA, sales of vans 3.5 tons and under rose by 10.5 percent in 2021 across the EU, UK and EFTA countries to 1,981,412 units. At the same time, passenger car sales were down 1.5 percent in 2021.

Toyota Europe President Matthew Harrison said the large van “represents an important addition and completes our light commercial line-up for Toyota’s European customers. The new LCV will represent a key contribution to Toyota’s growth targets for its overall LCV line-up.”

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