PSA offers to increase capacity for Toyota to win EU approval for FCA merger, report says

PSA has offered to boost rival Toyota to try to address European Union antitrust concerns about its plan to merge with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, people familiar with the matter said.

PSA has said it will increase production capacity for Toyota at their Sevelnord van joint venture in France, one of the sources said. Another source said the French company would sell the vans at close to cost price.

PSA builds the Peugeot Expert and Citroen Jumpy vans at the Sevelnord plant in northern France, as well as the Toyota ProAce.

PSA submitted its offer to the European Commission on Friday, three months after the EU enforcer opened a full-scale investigation into the deal with FCA on concerns that it would hurt hurt competition in small vans in 14 EU countries and Britain.

“As of now, the transaction has obtained merger clearance in fourteen jurisdictions. As previously stated, closing of the transaction is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2021,” PSA and FCA said in a joint statement on Friday.

The European Commission, which temporarily halted its investigation into the deal in July while waiting for the companies to provide requested data, did not set a deadline for its decision.

“The deadline is still suspended. This procedure in merger investigations is activated if the parties fail to provide, in a timely fashion, an important piece of information that the Commission has requested from them,” th Commission said.

It is now expected to seek feedback from customers and rivals before deciding whether to demand more concessions, or either clear or block the deal.

Sevelnord was originally a Simca Chrysler facility built in the early 1970s. The site lay dormant until the early 1990s, when it was selected as a production site for a PSA-Fiat light commercial vehicle partnership.

The PSA-Fiat partnership at the plant dissolved in 2012 and Toyota became PSA’s van partner.

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