Peugeot Citroen Sales Up 13 Percent

PSA Peugeot Citroen sold 3.6 million vehicles last year as growth in emerging markets offset falling demand in Europe, the French car maker said Thursday.

PARIS (AP) -- PSA Peugeot Citroen sold 3.6 million vehicles last year as growth in emerging markets offset falling demand in Europe, the French car maker said Thursday.

Peugeot Citroen sales grew 13 percent in 2010, the company said, rebounding from the 2.2 percent slide recorded in 2009 as a result of the global economic downturn.

The manufacturer of the popular Peugeot 207 and Citroen C4 Picasso said its sales in Europe slipped 0.9 percent to 2.2 million vehicles as governments in France, Germany and elsewhere trimmed or eliminated scrappage incentives that had boosted car sales during the crisis.

Peugeot Citroen said it expects European car markets to stabilize in 2011, while markets in Latin America, China and Russia should continue to grow.

Jean-Marc Gales, executive vice president for the group's brands, said in a statement he was confident about the outlook for 2011, despite the planned further elimination of government scrappage incentives in Europe.

Peugeot Citroen sales of assembled vehicles reached 3.1 million last year. It also sold nearly half-a-million cars in the form of kits that it exports for final assembly by partners, notably in Iran.

The company is relying more and more on fast-growing export markets such as Brazil, China and Russia. The group aims to make over 50 percent of its vehicle sales outside of Europe by 2015, up from 39 percent last year.

In midday trading Peugeot Citroen shares were down 1.8 percent at euro31.58 (40.97).

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