The C4 Cactus is a success...
Things are looking good for the PSA group: the PSA/Peugeot-Citroen said first-quarter revenue rose 4.6 percent from a year earlier as deliveries increased in China.
Sales increased to 13.7 billion euros ($15 billion).
PSA sticks to a 2018 deadline of generating operating profit from carmaking amounting to 2 percent of revenue and said in its recent statement it wants the margin to rise to 5 percent in the five years through 2023.
Hans Knol ten Bensel
PSA is now more optimistic, and raised its full-year European auto market growth forecast to 4 percent from 1 percent. The company is adding production in Europe to meet rising demand.
Indeed, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen today said in April that it will increase European production by 10 percent as the better market in Europe and strong demand for models including the Peugeot 208 subcompact and Citroen C4 Cactus crossover make for better prospects to achieve the targets of the turnaround plan.
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PSA said it will boost output by 60,000 vehicles from May to August in response to an upturn in European registrations that could make recovery goals announced by CEO Carlos Tavares look rather conservative.
The automaker's vehicle sales rose by 9 percent in March, with the market up overall a good 11 percent. The mid market brands like Peugeot and Citoen are doing better again, with the budget makes losing somewhat in popularity.
Volumes will increase for all three of the group's brands, Peugeot, Citroen and DS.
C4 Cactus production in Madrid will be increased by 9,000 units over the period. Additional volumes are also planned for the Peugeot 208, 2008 and 308, including the 308 SW version. The number of DS 3 cars built in Poissy, France will also increase, according to a recent statement from PSA.
C Elysee Citroen is well received in international markets...
Buoyant sales of delivery vans, a big profit center for PSA and French rival Renault, have also prompted output increases at plants like Sevelnord in northern France, where PSA is adding a night shift.
Of course, despite these positive trends, the company will continue to cut fixed costs and will be making further gains in productivity.
PSA expects further industrywide demand to increase by about 7 percent in China in 2015, but the market in Latin America will drop by 10 pct, and in Russia even a more severe contraction is in the cards, by not less than 30 pct.
Auto division revenues edged higher to 8.95 billion euros in the quarter, as better pricing delivered a 1.7 percent boost to the top line. The gain was a healthier 3.3 percent including Chinese joint-venture sales that PSA does not consolidate.
PSA's registrations were up 4.4 percent in Europe, but the group recorded a 0.9 percent drop in vehicle sales as the distribution network sold from stock. Global sales fell 1.9 percent to 712,200 vehicles.
A 5 pct market share in China...
PSA is targeting a 5 percent share of China's industrywide car sales in 2015. China has now overtaken France as the manufacturer's largest single market, in partnership with Dongfeng. The figure for the Peugeot, Citroen and DS brands was 4.4 percent last year.
The French and Chinese companies plan to double their combined annual sales in China and markets in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to 1.5 million vehicles in the six years through 2020.