PSA/Peugeot-Citroen is confident it can increase its market share in Brazil this year, as cars roll out of its Porto Real plant in the south of the country.
"We've become the smallest local producer (in Brazil) instead of being the largest importer," PSA CEO Jean-Martin Folz said Monday at the Automotive News Europe Congress in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Folz predicted that PSA's Brazilian market share would increase to 4.8 percent this year, compared with 3.2 percent in 2001 and just 0.5 percent in 1997. That forecast comes even as Brazil struggles with deep financial turmoil brought on by neighboring Argentina's economic woes.
PSA has targeted Latin America for international expansion, along with central and eastern Europe and China. In central and eastern Europe, Folz plans to maintain or slightly increase the company's market share, which stood at 10.5 percent in 2001 and at 12.4 percent at the end of May 2002.
In China, PSA has just signed a new agreement with its longtime partner Dongfeng. Six models will be produced in a joint venture at Wuhan. PSA and Dongfeng expect to sell 150,000 units by 2004.
In 2001, PSA sold 3.1 million -- 587,300 of them outside western Europe.
Folz commented on several issues Monday:
Once reserved to PSA's upper-medium cars, particle filters are now used in Peugeot's lower-medium 307. Devised to eliminate particles generated by diesel engines, PSA's innovative particle filter has been costly to produce and has so far found no outside customers.
Faurecia, the French supplier that is 71 percent owned by PSA, is working on a cheaper, second-generation particle filter.
Sharing platforms helps boost the capacity utilization rate of PSA's plants. PSA's plants ran at 114 percent of capacity in 2001, compared with 101 percent in 2000 and 76 percent in 1998.
Folz said PSA has added a third shift and weekend shifts to meet demand for its hot-selling 307.