Stellantis’ joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Group expects to export more than one third of Citroen C5 X output by the end of this year, a plan designed to bolster sales, profits and factory utilization.
On March 2, a fleet of trucks carrying 1,222 Citroen C5 X crossovers left a Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile plant in the southwest China city of Chengdu for Shanghai, the joint venture said this week.
The crossovers will be shipped by sea from Shanghai to the Belgian port city of Zeebrugge and then distributed in Europe, according to Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen.
Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen builds and markets sedans and crossovers for the Peugeot and Citroen brands. The Chengdu plant can produce up to 360,000 vehicles a year and is the only factory globally producing the Citroen C5 X.
The joint venture began to export the Citroen C5 X shortly after launching sales of the crossover in China in September 2021. Exports of the crossover totaled 1,238 last year, Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen said.
A sharp decline in sales in recent years has resulted in severe excess factory capacity at Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen, previously a partnership between Dongfeng and PSA Group.
The slump has forced the joint venture to idle two of three plants in the central China city of Wuhan in the past few years. The remaining factory in Wuhan has annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles.
Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen’s sales shrank to below 101,000 in 2021 from a peak of more than 700,000 in 2015.