A fire that broke out at Recticel Group's Most, Czech Republic, factory Jan. 22 has forced PSA Group to halt the production of the Peugeot 3008 compact crossover at its plant in Sochaux, France.
The Most site is the sole producer of a patented urethane skin for auto interiors made by Recticel, and the fire at one production hall forced the company to close all of the plant due to safety concerns, which prompted the company to declare force majeure.
The Brussels-based supplier has said that no one was injured in the fire, but it is still assessing the extent of the damage. Its engineers and contractors were allowed back inside the plant on Jan. 27, it said in a Jan. 31 news release.
To re-launch production activities disrupted by the fire in Most, PSA management aims to launch deliveries of PU foam surfaces from other suppliers, with particular focus on manufacturers from China, a spokesperson for PSA Sochaux told local news agency AFP.
Located in eastern France, the factory in Sochaux is operated by a workforce of close to 10,000, according to figures from PSA.
The 3008 has been a strong sales leader for PSA. The company said earlier in January that in the three months since its launch, it received 60,000 orders, exceeding the automaker's targets prior to launch by 70 percent.
“Recticel and its customers, supported by the affected OEMs PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault, Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen, are cooperating to identify solutions and elaborate alternative production plans that will allow gradual restart of the production of parts, in order to minimize the disruption at the customers' assembly plants,” Recticel said in the Jan. 31 statement.
The Most facility is covered by insurance policies “in line with industry standards,” it said, adding Recticel is “currently not in a position to assess the financial consequences of this incident.”
The site has annual sales of 547 Czech koruna ($21 million) and employs 390 people.