Carmaker PSA in reverse as Chinese sales hit a wall

PARIS (AFP) – French carmaker PSA said yesterday its sales slumped in the first half of the year as it pulled out of Iran and sales in China plunged by nearly two-thirds.

Half of the overall 12.8 per cent drop in sales by the maker of Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel and Vauxhall brands to 1.9 million vehicles was due to halting operations in Iran to avoid falling foul of United States
(US) sanctions on the country. While the Chinese car market has been shrinking since last year, PSA has been hammered, with its sales plummeting by just over 60 per cent to 64,000 vehicles in China and southeast Asia.

Allied with its top investor, Chinese carmaker Dongfeng, PSA sold 742,000 vehicles in China in 2014, but sales have since spiralled lower as consumer tastes shifted.

PSA said it “is working on action plans with its partners to tackle current issues and lower the breakeven point” of its joint ventures in China.