France’s PSA sales slump on virus hit

PSA, which groups the Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel and Vauxhall brands, said the pandemic had boosted online sales and it expected to sell 100,000 vehicles this way in 2021, up from 40,000 last year. — Reuters pic
PSA, which groups the Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel and Vauxhall brands, said the pandemic had boosted online sales and it expected to sell 100,000 vehicles this way in 2021, up from 40,000 last year. — Reuters pic

PARIS, Jan 14 — France’s PSA, in the process of merging with Fiat Chrysler, said today its 2020 sales plunged 27.8 per cent to 2.5 million vehicles as the coronavirus pandemic shut down economies worldwide.

Sales in Europe, its main market, were down 29.7 per cent at 2.1 million, while in China they plunged nearly 58 per cent to 45,965 vehicles, continuing a rapid decline from 740,000 in 2014.

PSA, which groups the Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel and Vauxhall brands, said the pandemic had boosted online sales and it expected to sell 100,000 vehicles this way in 2021, up from 40,000 last year.

The company said the European market staged a strong recovery in the second half of 2020, jumping 40 per cent compared with the first six months when governments imposed strict lockdowns to try to control the first wave of Covid-19.

Global auto companies are all grappling with the huge costs and changes involved in the transition to electric vehicles, a process made more difficult by the pandemic upheaval.

French auto giant Renault reported Tuesday that its 2020 sales had slumped 21.3 per cent to 2.9 million vehicles in a market down 14.2 per cent overall.

Last week, shareholders approved the merger of PSA and Fiat Chrysler, a deal which puts the new company “Stellantis” in fourth place globally by unit sales as the industry consolidates to make the transition to more environmentally friendly cars. — AFP

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