The company makes there – especially local market-adapted sedan versions of the Peugeot 307 and Citroen C4. The C4 sedan is called C4 Pallas, and was originally designed for China – it is built at Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobiles (DPCA) in Wuhan.
The car needed some re-engineering to suit Argentine tastes, but is proving to be “well suited to the Mercosur market philosophically and in terms of design,” said PSA president Christian Streiff. “It may be even better suited to Mercosur than to China. It is enjoying success in China but it will achieve REAL success here.”
So PSA is big in Argentina and not far behind VW and Ford. But it’s not quite so big in Brazil – a distant fifth. The Brazilian top three Fiat, VW and GM control around three-quarters of the market.
Streiff’s ambitions are in line with his CAP 2010 programme, which has ambitious profitability targets for the group. And getting a better return from emerging markets is a sound way to achieve this.
PSA is growing faster than the market too – sales in 2007 are up 32%, while the overall Mercosur market grew 28%.
To achieve Streiff’s goal of catching Fiat, VW, GM and Ford, PSA is planning to pump around €500m in to its plants in Brazil and Argentina between now and the first half of 2009, developing 12 new models (or variations on existing PSA models) specifically for Latin America by 2010
Already a number of specific local variants, in addition to the sedan C4 and 307, have been developed, including a version of the Peugeot 206SW named Escapade and a variant of the Citroen C3, the C3 XTR. The 2 main feature of local models are adaptation to hot/humid climates and bad roads.