French financial newspaper Les Échos reports that PSA Peugeot Citröen is altering its hybrid vehicle strategy to focus on higher-end, premium vehicles, rather than on a more mass-market solution, with lower production volumes expected. The market introduction will also be delayed.
PSA was working with Continental, Bosch, Valeo and Thyssen-Krupp on a hybrid diesel platform that would have likely been applied in the Peugeot 308 (earlier post) and entered the market in 2010.
The €471 million (US$690 million) project was to receive €101 million (US$148 million) in public funding from the French government via the Agency for Industrial Innovation (l’Agence de l’Innovation industrielle, A2I).
The European Commission has raised competitive concerns over the government subsidy, and has blocked progress for some 18 months, according to PSA. As a result, PSA says that it has decided to develop hybrids itself, to begin sales in 2011, and to target the more expensive vehicles, according to the report.