Compact, frugal, Stellantis’ dream factory in Sochaux

Compact, frugal, Stellantis’ dream factory in Sochaux

Compact, frugal, Stellantis’ dream factory in Sochaux

The stacker crane, a 25-meter building that can hold 4,800 pallets of pieces, in the Stellantis group plant in Sochaux (Doubs), 5 September 2022.

Forty thousand employees in 1975, 12,000 employees in 2011, 9,000 in 2018, 6,200 today, plus a thousand temporary workers … The Stellantis site, cradle of Peugeot cars, in Sochaux (Doubs), has completed the slimming treatment. This affected not only the workforce, but also the industrial footprint.

The board of directors of Stellantis, on June 7, and journalists, on September 5, thus discovered a new factory that cannot be guessed from the outside, as it has been completely redesigned inside existing buildings. All this in a frugal investment logic: 200 million euros all the same.

If it is not ostentatious, the change, launched five years ago by Carlos Tavares, is very real. Straddling three towns of the Doubs – Sochaux, Montbéliard and Exincourt -, the historic site was stripped of 44 hectares out of 210. They were sold to the Pays de Montbéliard community, under discussion for resale to the investment fund. in logistics projects.

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Car production has been compacted to save land, energy, taxes. Finished the number of trucks that transported the parts over 1.5 km between the old molding building (where the parts that form the body start) and that of the fitting (where they are assembled). From now on, the two workshops are grouped under one roof, with a new, huge press, which sends 2,500 tons onto the steel sheets. It will have cost 33 million euros. It comes from China, works with Swiss robots and can form four parts at the same time.

Very strong pressure, according to the unions

Above all, it takes less than three and a half minutes to change the shapes and pass from the manufacture of the doors to that of a passenger compartment, from one part for Peugeot 3008 to one part for 5800, the two models currently produced on the site. A few minutes during which a small Mozart melody informs the teams of the passage. The press, which can operate seven days a week, made it possible to repatriate part of the operations carried out outside and 300 jobs to the factory.

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Second major innovation, there is only one assembly line instead of two. The factory can, however, assemble up to six different models. From any brand of the Stellantis group, since [leurs] factories are agnostic “, explains Arnaud Deboeuf, world production manager, who manages the group’s 92 plants, formerly Peugeot, Citroën, Fiat, Jeep or Chrysler. A hierarchical level has been removed, which worries both CFDT and FO, which underlines the frenetic pace of change and the tremendous pressure, even though the factory has eight years of guaranteed production ahead of it.

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