PARIS – PSA/Peugeot-Citroen will add two Citroen models in China next year to help the automaker reverse a sales decline.
PSA had hoped to sell 140,000 cars in China last year but its volume declined 13 percent to 90,000 units. Between 2001 and 2003 its sales in China had doubled.
“China has put the spotlight on our strengths and weaknesses,” PSA CEO Jean-Martin Folz said at a conference organized by FIEV, the French auto suppliers association.
He did not elaborate on what these were, but Citroen Managing Director Claude Satinet has said the automaker’s main problem in China is the age of its products.
Folz promises action
“We will add two other Citroen cars in 2006,” Folz said. He did not say which cars but there is speculation one of them could be the lower-medium C4, which replaced the Xsara in Europe last autumn.
PSA sells four Citroen models in China. These are built at its Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile plant in Wuhan, eastern China.
The newest are the Xsara lower-medium sedan and the Xsara Picasso medium minivan. The other two, the Fukang and Elysee, are based on the Xsara’s 15-year-old predecessor, the ZX.
Sister brand Peugeot has a younger lineup in China. Last summer the Wuhan plant started building a three-box version of the lower-medium Peugeot 307, which is 4 years old. The 7-year-old Peugeot 206 small-segment car will be added this year.
The Wuhan-made 307 already is having a positive effect. PSA sold 8,200 units of the 307 during the first three months of this year, according to company figures.
The car represented nearly a quarter of PSA’s 33,000 total sales during the first quarter. Overall sales in China fell 2 percent during the period to 618,000.