MEXICO CITY - Peugeot has delayed plans to enter Mexico.
The French automaker announced last December that it intended to arrive by this spring. But those plans have been set aside, and now Peugeot has set no date to begin Mexican operations.
'We're waiting to ensure that we have everything set to give our clients the satisfaction that they expect,' said Gilles Couffon, executive in charge of Peugeot Latin American sales.
Dealers are already appointed, Couffon said. Initial plans were for dealers in Monterey, Mexico City and Guadalajara. Sales goals were 500 for 1997 and a total of 5,000 by the end of the decade.
Mexican rules do not allow cars to be sold unless the automaker assembles in the country with at least 36 percent local content. But Peugeot plans to bring in 306 and 405 models built in Chile, under a trade pact between that country and Mexico.
Peugeot's arrival could cause some resentment among competitors. In recent years, Honda, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have set up assembly operations to feed their infant sales organizations. Said one industry leader: 'I think there is a hole in the Mexican decree.'