Dongfeng Peugeot boosts output

GUANGZHOU, China -- Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile Co.'s plant in Wuhan is steadily increasing output and expects to deliver about 200,000 units this year.

Dongfeng Peugeot launched the Peugeot 206 in March to complement the established 307 that was introduced in September 2004. The company expects to deliver about 35,000 units of the 206 this year but will not predict output for 2007. The plant also produces Citroen models.

"We are still working on budgets," says Michel Prudon, Peugeot director of marketing and communication. The 206 and 307 are sedans, says Prudon, and the company has "no immediate plans to introduce variants."

He spoke here at the Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition.

Dongfeng Peugeot is a joint venture of PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA, of France, and Dongfeng Motor Corp.

A separate Peugeot company operates the import and marketing of other Peugeot vehicles, the 407 and 407 SW, 206 CC and 307 CC and the top-of-the-range 607.

"Dongfeng Peugeot has been steadily increasing its output," says Prudon. "We achieved an annual production total of 11,000 in 2004, our first year, around 40,000 in 2005 and expect to end 2006 with record figures."

Although the company will not commit to 2007 targets, Prudon confidently expects numbers "to exceed 100,000 in combined sales of the two Peugeot models."

Prudon says, "The market has experienced something of a slowdown, although it is expected to show a 29 percent increase over the previous year.

"Dongfeng Peugeot is still expanding," he says. "China will become the second-largest market in the world."

You may e-mail Jeff Heselwood at autonews@crain.com

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