PSA Peugeot Citroen, Europe’s second-largest automaker, said that first half global deliveries declined 13 percent to 1.62 million.
In Europe, where the economic environment was very weak, demand for cars and light commercial vehicles declined by a steep 7.2%. The fall-off varied considerably by country:
• Down 21.5% in Italy
• Down 13.3% in France
• Down 10.2% in Spain
• Up 0.6% in Germany
• Up 1.4% in the United Kingdom
• Down 1.6% in Central and Eastern Europe
“The Peugeot and Citron brands’ traditionally strong markets, France, Spain and Italy, are in profound crisis,” the company said. European sales plunged 15 percent.
The family-owned auto maker is in talks with labor unions about an intensified cost-cutting program, that most probably will lead to the closure of the Aulnay plant near Paris.
Chief Executive Philippe Varin is scheduled to brief staff representatives on the cuts at a works council meeting next week, ahead of the company’s first-half results presentation on July 25.
The scale of the “disaster” will become clear in the coming days, with PSA Peugeot Citroën expected to announce further details of its cost cutting plan, which could see the loss of up to 10,000 job nationwide.
The government said in mid-June that it was weighing measures to help the sector following a request from Renault.
Peugeot entered a global alliance with US auto giant General Motors in February aimed at slashing costs for both and boosting their competitiveness in Europe.