Peugeot Citroen posts fall in sales
PSA Peugeot Citroen, Europe's second- largest carmaker, delivered 17 per cent fewer cars in 2012 as a push abroad in the final months of the year failed to protect the company from a recession in its home region.
Sales by the company's Peugeot and Citroen brands, including kits of components ready for assembly, fell to 2.97 million vehicles from 3.55 million in 2011, the Paris-based manufacturer said today.
The decline accelerated from a 15 per cent drop in the first nine months of 2012.
"The decline in group sales reflects the crisis affecting the European automobile market," the company said.
Deliveries were also reduced as Peugeot stopped supplying kits to Iran in line with international trade sanctions, it said.
A European car market that's the smallest in almost two decades has led to cash depletion at Peugeot.
The company's banking unit said yesterday that it sold €3.1 billion in asset-backed securities last year to bolster finances.
The manufacturer entered a model-development alliance last year with General Motors, and it introduced the Peugeot 301 sedan in November in Turkey, part of a strategy to expand in emerging markets.
Excluding the kits, sales fell 8.8 per cent to 2.82 million vehicles.
The Peugeot division's deliveries dropped 6.1 per cent to 1.56 million vehicles last year.
The Citroen marque's deliveries slid 12 per cent to 1.27 million autos.
The economy of the 17 nations using the euro entered a recession in the third quarter, and the European Central Bank forecasts a contraction in the bloc's gross domestic product of 0.3 per cent in 2013.
The European Automobile Manufacturers Association, or ACEA, has predicted that sales in the region last year would fall to about 12 million cars, the lowest figure since 1995.
The group is scheduled to release registration numbers for 2012 in mid-January.
"The European market should continue to contract in 2013, by 3 per cent to 5 per cent," Peugeot said today.
"In this environment, the Peugeot and Citroen brands will step-up their sales offensive with 17 launches worldwide, of which nine in Europe. This should lower the line-up's average age to 3.5 years."
Industrywide car sales in France fell 14 per cent last year, according to the country's automakers' association.
Peugeot's deliveries dropped 18 per cent, and domestic competitor Renault's sales plunged 22 per cent.
Including light commercial vehicles, the French market shrank 13 per cent, with declines of 17 per cent at Peugeot and 20 per cent at Renault.
The French carmakers' sales declines also exceeded the market's drop last year in Germany, Europe's biggest economy.
The Peugeot brand's sales in the country fell 14 per cent, Citroen's dropped 8 per cent and Renault, with its Dacia marque, declined 6 per cent. That compares with a 2.9 per cent contraction in industry registrations, according to the German Federal Motor Vehicle Office.