* Decision will secure future of Sevelnord plant
* PSA says Toyota to fund part of investment
* PSA shares up 0.3 pct by 0723 GMT
(Adds union comment, background)
PARIS, Aug 31 PSA Peugeot Citroen
announced plans to build a new range of commercial vans at
Valenciennes-Hordain, granting a reprieve to the northern French
plant after unions made concessions on pay and conditions.
Europe's second-biggest car maker said it will build
replacements for the mid-size Peugeot Expert and Citroen Jumpy
delivery vans at the plant, currently operated under the
Sevelnord joint venture from which Fiat is withdrawing.
"The group's decision will ensure the future of the
facility," Peugeot said in a statement. The automaker said it
would invest more than 750 million euros ($937 million) in the
new vehicle programmes.
Under plans announced with Toyota in July, Peugeot
will also build a variant of its current and future van models
for the Japanese automaker.
The investment was announced after unions agreed in July to
a pay freeze, reduced leave and increased working-time
"This is the culmination of months of work," said Pascal
Lucas, an official with the CFE-CGC union.
"In view of the group's current financial difficulties, this
is a good result for our factory."
Without the concessions, Paris-based Peugeot had warned that
it would choose a Spanish plant to build the new vehicles after
Fiat's withdrawal, leading to the Valenciennes plant's likely
closure in 2016.
Peugeot is bearing the brunt of a long, deep sales slump
that has squeezed automakers' earnings between a glut of
production capacity and ultra-competitive discounting in the
The company is already cutting more than 10,000 domestic
jobs as it closes its Aulnay plant near Paris and shrinks
another in Rennes, western France.
A Peugeot spokesman said Toyota would fund part of the
Valenciennes investment but had no further details.
Peugeot is Europe's biggest producer of light commercial
vehicles, with a 20.8 percent share of the market in the first
half of 2012.
The Valenciennes plant assembled 94,000 vans last year, of
which 20,000 were for Fiat and the remainder for the Peugeot and
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon, Gilles Guillaume and Laurence
Frost; Editing by James Regan and Greg Mahlich)