Outside of Europe, automaker Peugeot-Citroen has never been a major player. The French company has remained a major influence in Europe’s small and mid-sized car industry, releasing a large string of highly successful models every generation. However, with hot competition from Japanese motor vehicle companies and a lengthy list of regulations to cater to, the company is rarely seen in Asia.
However, the large auto company now has Chinese growth to thank for its success. Peugeot-Citroen sales steadily increased over the past year due to greater Chinese demand, particularly in the major economic centres of the country’s East Coast. On the back of greater demand in China and various other markets in Asia, the company has announced plans to sell half its cars in the region by 2015.
This marks the largest venture outside of Europe in the company’s history. Unlike the German and British automotive industries, which have typically survived on international demand, France’s big motoring companies have primarily operated within Europe. The company announced a partnership with China’s Dongfeng Motors in order to build an alliance within the country.
Revenue for the company has increased alongside the greater sales, growing by 21% over the last quarter and expected to grow further following European economic recovery. Vehicle sales have slumped within major Western markets due to the financial crisis, which has highlighted the value of Eastern markets to the world’s major automotive manufacturers.
With Chinese businesses continuing to expand and the country’s large middle class gaining access to disposable income, the automotive world is taking notice. Malaysian company Proton Auto has announced plans to export more cars to mainland China. A number of Japan’s major auto companies also plan to build factories within China as sales improve and the country’s regulations loosen.