CAPSAChina – The vehicle-makers have signed a strategic cooperation agreement to expand the partnership which began six years ago with the aim of establishing PSA’s premium brand in the country. Supported by an equally shared investment of 3.6 RMB ($556.2m), Changan Automobile and PSA (CAPSA) plan to launch one new DS product every year from 2018.

According to the announcement today, the plant in Shenzhen will see its utilisation raised “beyond [the] DS line-up”, with more SUVs and sedans produced in the short term. The companies will strengthen cooperation on vehicle platforms, new energy vehicles, traditional powertrains, intelligent connectivity and overseas operations. They will also produce a pick-up truck in the short term. Furthermore, “state-of-the-art technologies” will be introduced to the DS range, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and a first battery electric model from 2019.

The French OEM will establish DS headquarters in Shenzhen for China and the Asia-Pacific region, in order to create synergies with its partner in the management of their Chinese operations, as well as to develop exports.

“This agreement will give a new impetus to the DS brand in China and in Asia-Pacific and is a clear demonstration of the willingness to strengthen cooperation between the two companies in a constructive spirit,” commented Denis Martin, executive vice-president for China and ASEAN, Groupe PSA.

Wang Kun, vice-president of Changan Automobile said his company would “work together with Groupe PSA to strengthen the resource investment to CAPSA, unswervingly develop DS as a premium brand, speed up the product launch and set the position of CAPSA as the centre of DS in Asia Pacific”.