José Maria Castro’s comments came the day that PSA – The French company that owns the Peugeot and Citroën brands – marked the centenary of the founding of Citroën and the 55th anniversary of its arrival in Mangualde.

“We’re trying to adapt the current product, the car we have, to the CO2 regulations,” said Castro. “There will be a version that will emit less CO2 and we are trying to convince the Directorate-General [of the European Commission] and, working … with the Portuguese government and with the workers of the factory to, altogether, manage to have a project for the medium term – which is not at all simple at this time, with many difficulties related to emissions – so that there is also a future for Mangualde.”

Without revealing the model in question, Castro said that “it is the adaptation of a current model to the new CO2 emissions values” and that the goal is “to conclude the project at the end of this year [so as] to be able to start working and launch the car in 2023.”

The company is projecting “an investment between €20 and €25 million” in Mangualde to upgrade the workforce’s qualifications and introduce more automation, he said, while adding that the plant is “the best of the PSA group”.

Although the industry is currently “brutal”, he said, he is sure that he will “stay here for many years.”