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Peugeot sees China driving its brand

2010-10-29 13:28

BEIJING - French auto maker Peugeot expects China to become its biggest market before 2015 and promises to add at least one model every year to its locally produced fleet, said Xavier Peugeot, the company's global director of marketing and communications.

Peugeot sees China driving its brand

A Peugeot RCZ Black Yearling is seen at the Moscow Auto Salon 2010 (the Moscow International Motor Show), on Aug 25, 2010.  [Photo / Agencies] 

"We hope our annual sales in the country will hit at least 500,000 units by that year," he added.

"As China's annual automobile sales in 2015 will be two times this year's figure, we believe that success in the China market is key to Peugeot's strategic target of being the world's seventh largest brand by 2015."

The 200-year-old brand is now listed in ninth position by sales in the global automobile industry.

"To provide better service and more products to local consumers, we will have at least one model locally produced in China every year, starting with the 508 sedan next July," said Peugeot. "Meanwhile, we will further enrich our imported lineup with diversified models to Chinese customers in the coming years."

By 2015, PSA Peugeot Citroen's local joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Group will roll out 12 new models under both Peugeot and Citroen brands in total, along with six engines.

"Adding the 300,000-unit capacity in our planned third plant in Wuhan, the total production capacity of Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile Co Ltd will reach 750,000 units a year in 2015, 5 percent of the total China market," said Zimmerman Timothy, general manager of Dongfeng Peugeot Automotive Distribution. "We also target 50,000 units of our vehicles to be exported from China in 2015."

In the first three quarters, Peugeot's sales in the Chinese market surged 30 percent over last year. The company raised its sales target for the whole year by 40 percent to 150,000 units.

"With two new models to be introduced into the local venture next year, we hope our sales will be doubled in 2011," said Timothy.

He also told China Daily that the company will expand its distribution network from the current 165 to 220 dealerships by the end of this year, and to 270 to 280 stores by the end of next year.

"We will also strengthen our local development and research capability to provide truly tailored-for-China cars in the world's biggest market," said Jean-Philippe Imparato, Peugeot's director for the Asia-Pacific and Africa regions.

PSA Peugeot Citroen has been the first international automaker to have a wholly-owned research and development center in China. It set up the China Tech Center in Shanghai with an initial investment of one billion yuan ($149.5 million). The facility commenced operations in September 2008.

The center develops cars directly for Chinese consumers without adapting existing products from its headquarters. It also has a world class functional design studio in Shanghai, PSA's first such facility outside France.

China has become the focus for the global automobile market. It overtook the United States as the world's biggest - and the one with most potential - last year, with annual sales of 13.8 million units.

The country is expected to sell as many as 17.5 million vehicles this year and will continue to grow by around 20 percent in the next decade.

Last week, Daimler AG's Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche also said in Beijing that the German automaker expects China to be its biggest market by around 2015.

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