The French auto Group reported slightly weaker sales for the first half of the year, as a decline in China offset the strong European demand.
PSA Group said it sold 1,546,889 vehicles in first six months of the year, a 0.2 percent slip compared to the same period of 2015. In contrast, rival Renault reported earlier a 13 percent surge in global registrations, up to 1.57 million units. Even if Peugeot, Citroen and the DS brand managed to return a solid 7.4 percent year-on-year growth to 1,056,000 cars in Europe, in the “fast-changing” China & Southeast Asia markets, the demand for the automaker’s models fell 19.4 percent to 297,000 units. The main reason for such a decline in the world’s biggest auto market is China’s lure towards sport utility vehicles, a segment in which PSA has been weak so far.
However, the company promised to shift the status-quo by preparing a marketing offensive in the second half of the year, preparing the launch of its five SUVs in the next two years. Furthermore, Peugeot brand said it was planning to deploy 18 new models in China by 2020 and, before the end of 2016, refresh the 308 Sedan and the 3008, two of its three best sellers in the region.
The Group is also optimistic about growth prospects that are expected to come from Iran, where it signed a joint venture agreement in June with the country’s largest automaker, Iran Khodro. The DS brand was also launched there at the beginning of the year, in cooperation with a private investor.