PSA Peugeot-Citroen saw its global sales rising around 4% last year to a total of 2.94 million vehicles for the first time in the last four years – but more importantly, the growth was triggered by a 32% jump in deliveries in China.
The world’s largest auto market is just second when it comes to the luxury segment, though the growth in the latter sector overshadowed the total industry gains for years. But as the overall economy slowed to the lowest level since 1990 and the government is cracking down on corrupt practices and calls for a national atonement of luxury abuses, the figures posted by carmakers such as PSA could signal a shift towards mass-market auto manufacturers. Overall car sales in China slowed from a 14% growth in 2013 to just 7% gains last year, but the figures reported by the automakers show that “mundane” brands could see a slower dive than premium counterparts.
And analysts concur on the situation, saying investors should seek mass over premium exposure this year – mainly due to increased pricing pressure as the luxury automakers of the world jumped to continuously add production capabilities in the country. And industry experts at Bernstein Research forecast China sales to be key for the European carmakers – the country counted for more than 50% of total worldwide earnings last year for each of the German players. For example, PSA now counts China as its largest market, with deliveries of 734,000 units last year, while BMW AG managed to increase sales during the same period by 17% to 455,979 BMW and Mini vehicles.
Via Automotive News Europe