France

PSA Peugeot Citroën sales slump 16.5 per cent worldwide

Reuters/Christian Hartmann

Sales of France’s leading carmaker, PSA Peugeot Citroën, fell 16.5 per cent in 2012 to below three million vehicles worldwide. The main reasons for the slump were the economic crisis in Europe and Western sanctions on Iran.

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Peugeot Citroën sold 2.7 million vehicles in 2012, hit particularly hard by the crisis at home and southern Europe.

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In France sales were down 17.5 per cent and the fall was even greater in Spain, Italy and Portugal, which have traditionally been important markets for the company.

In Europe as a whole it sold 1.76 million, down 15 per cent on 2011, although sales in Germany and Britain bucked the trend.

The company expects the European market to fall a further 3.0-5.0 per cent this year.

It also suffered a loss in sales in Iran where it suspended car assembly in February, blaming international sanctions for payment problems.

In Brazil, one of the developing markets where it hopes to pick up the slack, the extension of its factory in Porto Real has been delayed, although the company is maintaining a target of doubling capacity by 2015.

But there was good news in Russia and China, where sales rose 7.4 per cent to 78,000 and 9.2 per cent to 442,000 respectively.

Peugeot Citroën aims to realise half its sales outside Europe in 2015. In 2011 they rose from 33 per cent to 38 per cent.

Principal European rival Volkswagen reported a recovery of sales in November, increasing its lead over the French company, which is declaring redundancies in France and closing its factory at Aulnay-sous-Bois, near Paris.

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