PARIS (AP) — PSA Peugeot Citroen SA vehicle sales of passenger cars and light vans rose 3.8 percent in 2007, the French automaker said Tuesday, and predicted faster growth this year thanks to the launch of new models.
Europe's second-largest car manufacturer after Volkswagen AG launched a major turnaround plan in May last year after a difficult 2006.
The four-year recovery program aims to sell more than 4 million cars by 2010 by bolstering weak sales through the introduction of new models and improved customer service.
The French carmaker said Monday it sold 3.23 million cars last year.
Including parts kits, sales totaled 3.43 million units in 2007, a 1.8 percent increase. The French carmaker predicted 5 percent growth this year to 3.55-3.65 million units, in line with the aims of the restructuring plan.
Sales accelerated in the second half, growing 6.2 percent after 1.7 percent in the first six months, the company said.
CEO Christian Streiff — who joined the company in 2006 after a brief 99-day stint at the helm of planemaker Airbus — is trying to turn the carmaker's fortunes around after a weak product lineup and fierce competition from Asian manufacturers have caused its share of the key European market to fall.
Renault SA, the French carmaker's cross-town rival that is also in the midst of a turnaround plan, said last week vehicle sales rose 2.2 percent last year.
On Monday, Peugeot shares closed up 0.4 percent at euro46.7 (US$420.30), while Renault shares were down 2.54 percent at euro84.25 (US$758.25).