In the first days of 2020, PSA group starts to produce three-cylinder Turbo PureTech petrol engines at the Szentgotthárd plant in SW Hungary. 350,000 1.2-liter engines, of 100 and 130 hp, are expected to be produced in each year. Being awarded and implementing this strategic investment, the importance of the Szentgotthárd plant among the European PSA Group factories producing power transmission units will be made clear, and in the future it may become a PureTech production development expert base within the PSA group, the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency reports.
Peugeot began its operations in 1810, initially in the metallurgy, then in 1890, the company created its first petrol car, three decades before Citroen's first model. The two French car brands and their affiliated companies merged in 1976 to form the now well-known PSA Group, which, in 2014, acquired DS, followed by the acquisition of Opel and Vauxhall in 2018. In 2018, the corporate team employed 211,000 people worldwide in more than 400 companies within its consolidation group.
Opel was founded by Adam Opel in Rüsselsheim in 1862, where the company still has its headquarters. Since 1929 General Motors had held the majority ownership, then the entire ownership of the German group for almost 90 years until the 2019 PSA transaction. Opel currently operates nine factories in six European countries, among which one of the most significant one is the Szentgotthárd headquarters, which currently employs 818 people.
As a result of the PSA acquisition, the manufacturing and assembly lines of the Szentgotthárd plant, having twenty-seven years of engine manufacturing experience, will shift to the manufacturing of 1.2-liter three-cylinder turbocharged EB petrol engines, chosen the "Engine of the Year" four times so far, and EP cylinder heads from January 2020. Engines will be available in 100 and 130 hp versions in Szentgotthárd and will be shipped besides Opel to the premium models of Peugeot, Citroen and DS, representing the premium brand of the Group. As a result of the development, the plant is practically replacing its previous production range, so the production capacity can reach up to 350,000 pieces per year. At the same time, the factory maintained its manufacturing flexibility in order to produce conventional engines (which will be needed for a limited time in the future).
The conversion of the Szentgotthárd plant was carried out in parallel with the ongoing production. During the investment, Opel employees in Szentgotthárd played a key and responsible role in the development of machining, transferring and positioning machine parts to be developed during machine rebuilding, as well as in the development of machining, line control and measuring programs. Their participation in the development further strengthens the Szentgotthárd knowledge base to develop competitive manufacturing systems.