Shanghai: PSA confident over market growth image

PSA Peugeot Citroën chief executive Phillippe Varin is confident that China’s car market will continue to grow by about 10 per cent annually for several years and that over the next decade the market in Asia will be the major engine of growth for the automotive industry.

During the launch of the Citroën DS5 Varin told a news conference that the premium sector was particularly important in the Chinese market.

PSA will produce the DS5 in China with its new partner Changan Automobile, China’s fourth largest carmaker, and in Europe at its Sochaux factory in France. The China facility will have an initial capacity of 200,000 units, Varin said.

He added that China is now a cornerstone of PSA’s strategy to become more international, and that there is considerable room for growth within the country.

Varin said: “Car ownership is not evenly spread with Beijing and Shanghai having to impose limits on car registrations while new owners are emerging in smaller towns and cities.”

Gregoire Olivier, chief executive of PSA’s Asia operations, said that about 5 per cent of Chinese own a car compared with about 55 per cent of Europeans, which showed how much room there is for the market to grow.