Peugeot-Citroen global sales lifted by Iran despite China plunge

PARIS, July 13 ― French auto giant Peugeot Citroen (PSA) said today global sales rose slightly in the first half with its Iran comeback compensating for problems in China where volumes plunged by almost 50 per cent.

Between January and June, PSA’s sales in China fell by 48.6 per cent to 152,380 units, while in Europe, its main market, turnover was down 1.9 per cent to 1.03 million units, largely due to a poor performance by its luxury DS brand.

Overall the carmaker, which is pushing plans to buy General Motors’ European brands Opel and Vauxhall, sold nearly 1.58 million vehicles in the first half of 2017, with global sales up 2.3 per cent.

In the Middle East and Africa, sales tripled largely due to renewed production in Iran where it entered into a partnership deal with a local manufacturer following the easing of international sanctions.

The French manufacturer has been struggling to contain sharp sales falls in China since 2016, but said it had put in place “specific action plans” to address the situation.

But PSA’s woes in China were offset by its performance in the Middle East and Africa region where sales more than tripled to 277,931 units, of which 207,900 were produced in Iran under a Peugeot licence.

It also saw growth in Latin America where turnover was up by 8.5 per cent in the first half with the sale of 96,357 vehicles.

If the planned takeover of GM’s Europe business is successful, it would see PSA regaining its position as the second-biggest car manufacturer in Europe after Germany’s Volkswagen group. ― AFP

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