Peugeot says China sales could outstrip France by 2015: WSJ

20th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

French automaker Peugeot has said its sales in China could pass those in its home market in five years, a report said Monday, underlining the Asian nation's importance as the world's largest car market.

Peugeot, a unit of French group PSA Peugeot Citroen, is hoping to sell about 500,000 vehicles by 2015, China-based company executive Timothy Zimmerman told the Wall Street Journal in an interview.

That would exceed the company's performance in France -- where it posts annual sales of about 400,000 cars -- in 2015 or shortly thereafter, Zimmerman said.

China's auto sales for 2009 hit 13.64 million units as the nation took over the title of the world's top auto market from the United States.

In the first 11 months of 2010, total sales rose 34.1 percent on-year to a record 16.4 million units, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said this month. Total 2010 sales are expected to reach 18 million units.

Zimmerman said surpassing Peugeot's French sales volume in China was not a "strategic objective" but rather something the automaker "might eventually achieve as our sales in China expand".

The Peugeot executive forecast sales of about 150,000 vehicles this year, up from 112,000 in 2009. The company expects to have a total of 220 dealerships in China by year's end.

PSA Peugeot Citroen has a manufacturing joint venture with Chinese automaker Dongfeng Motor Group. It signed a separate agreement with Changan Automotive Group earlier this year to strengthen its foothold in China.

The French group is Europe's number two automaker in terms of sales behind Germany's Volkswagen.

© 2010 AFP

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