PSA Peugeot Citroen’s first-half deliveries rose 0.4 percent as growth in Asia, Europe and the Middle East offset plummeting demand in Latin America and Russia.
Sales increased to 1.55 million cars and light commercial vehicles from 1.54 million a year earlier, the Paris-based company, which ranks second in Europe’s car industry to Volkswagen AG, said Friday in an e-mailed statement.
Gains were helped by “assertive brand positioning,” with the Peugeot 308 hatchback and new models such as the Citroen C4 Cactus crossover propelling demand, the manufacturer said.
Under Chief Executive Officer Carlos Tavares, who took charge last year, Peugeot is seeking to sustain earnings after posting its first annual profit in three years in 2014. The strategy calls for expanding outside Europe, including in China through a partnership with Dongfeng Motor Corp., as well as adding more upscale cars at the new DS premium brand and ditching unprofitable models.
The Peugeot brand’s deliveries rose 3.9 percent, while sales declined 2.7 percent at the Citroen marque and 16 percent at DS. Group demand rose 2.2 percent in the China and Southeast Asia market, 2.9 percent in Europe and 36 percent in the India and Pacific region. Middle Eastern and African deliveries increased 24 percent.
In cooperation with Dongfeng, Peugeot is targeting a 5 percent share this year of industrywide car sales in China, which has overtaken France as the manufacturer’s largest national market.
The French company is scheduled to publish first-half earnings figures on July 29.