AFP reported that French auto giant Peugeot, recently rescued by the government, reported a 16.5% plunge of sales last year because of problems in southern Europe and Iran and despite strong demand in Russia and China. The group blamed the effects of the debt-crisis in southern Europe for the extent of the sales plunge.
But the director for brands in the business, known fully as PSA Peugeot Citroen, said it expected sales to rise this year, excluding the sale of parts for assembly in Iran and despite expected further contraction of the European market.
PSA is struggling to restructure its business with a controversial plant closure in France, the shedding of 8,000 jobs, a strategic alliance with US group General Motors and a drive to expand sales outside Europe.
Brand director Mr Frederic Saint-Geours said he expected group sales to rise this year but did not provide figures. He said in a statement that "The group is being hit full blast by the lasting fall of European markets which he estimated would shrink a further 3.0 to 5.0% this year.”
PSA is the second-biggest car manufacturer in Europe after German group Volkswagen which is strongly placed on export markets for high quality vehicles, but the French group's sales fell below the three-million level in 2012 to 2.965 million.
Source - AFP