Peugeot 2008 Sales Drop on Slumps in Europe, China

Jan. 13 -- PSA Peugeot Citroen, Europe’s second- biggest carmaker, said vehicle sales fell 8.7 percent last year, exceeding a company forecast as the economies of its home region and China soured.

The carmaker sold 2.95 million cars and light trucks in 2008 compared with 3.23 million a year earlier, it said in a statement today. The decline outpaced the 3.5 percent contraction the Paris-based company forecast in October.

European carmakers have shuttered plants and suspended thousands of jobs to reverse a buildup of unsold vehicles as plummeting consumer confidence and tighter credit erode sales. Renault SA, Peugeot’s smaller domestic rival, said Jan. 6 it had reduced inventories to 70,000 vehicles from more than 100,000 in September after slashing production by 50 percent in the fourth quarter.

“Peugeot Citroen resisted the sharp downturn in auto markets, maintaining its global market share at 5 percent,” the company said. Western European sales fell 11 percent to 2.08 million vehicles and its market share was unchanged, Peugeot said. Deliveries in central and eastern Europe dropped 6.1 percent, while jumping 59 percent in Russia.

Vehicle sales in China plunged 14 percent, contracting 3 percent in the second half after a 13 percent gain in the first. South American sales slipped 1.2 percent, the company said.

Including vehicles sold as unassembled kits, global sales dropped 4.9 percent to 3.26 million, Peugeot said.


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