PSA goes global

  • 31-Mar-2008 07:37 EDT
Peugeot plant.JPG
An operator tightens Peugeot 207 front end parts on the body assembly line at the company's Trnava plant in Slovakia.

PSA Peugeot Citroën's top priorities include focusing on its international business. And while the France-based automaker has no action plans for re-entering the U.S. marketplace, the company is very active in emerging markets.

"Russia is a growing market. It's important to be there," said Jean-Marc Sarret, spokesman for PSA. In January 2008, the automaker signed a cooperation and investment agreement with Russia's Kaluga regional government. The focal point of the 300 million euro investment is a vehicle assembly plant and supplier park in the city of Kaluga, 180 km (112 mi) southwest of Moscow.

Construction the plant for midsize cars—a segment that currently accounts for 60% of all cars sold in Russia—is expected to begin mid-year. Vehicles are slated to start rolling off the assembly line in 2010. Although the initial yearly sales tally is projected to be 100,000 vehicles, forecasts are for 300,000 units a year.

The automaker has operations in 150 countries, with the vehicle-production map heavily weighted to Europe (80.6%), followed by Asia (13.5%), South America (5.6%), and the rest of the world (0.3%). Peugeot brand passenger and light commercial vehicles accounted for 1,967,100 units worldwide in 2007, while Citroën brand passenger and light commercial vehicles tallied 1,461,300 units worldwide in 2007.

More than 1.7 million vehicles were produced in France by the automaker in 2007, but 820,000 vehicles were produced by the automaker in Argentina, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Although China's more than 212,000 vehicle production number leads all emerging-market production counts for the automaker, that present six-digit output pales in comparison to projected output.

"Our target is to be a global player in China. We want to reach one million units in China by 2015," said Sarret. At present, the automaker has a manufacturing plant in Wuhan with partner Dongfeng. In 2009, a new plant in Wuhan near the existing plant will increase production capacity by 150,000 units to 450,000 units annually.

PSA recently signed a letter of intent to partner with China's Hafei Automobile Group. If plans proceed, the two automakers would produce mini-buses from a new plant.

India is also on the automaker's radar. "We're looking at India, but so far there has been no decision about investing there," said Sarret.

Of its 200,000 employee total globally, the automaker has approximately 18,000 engineers and technicians.

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