Peugeot Citroen, Europe’s second- biggest carmaker, said first-half deliveries fell 13 per cent as demand slumped in European markets.
Sales declined to 1.62 million vehicles from 1.86 million a year earlier, the Paris-based company said today in a statement. Peugeot said it suffered from Europe’s “very weak” economic environment, where demand for cars and light commercial vehicles declined 7.2 per cent.
Peugeot is seeking a loan from the French government, La Tribune reported on Friday, citing Philippe Bonnin, the mayor of Chartre de Bretagne, where Peugeot has a factory. “We deny this information,” Peugeot spokesman Pierre-Olivier Salmon said by telephone.
Chief Executive Officer Philippe Varin plans to shed as many as 10,000 jobs in France, more than previously announced, as sales slide and management seeks further savings, Christian Lafaye, the head of Peugeot’s second-biggest union FO, said this week. Varin told unions last week the carmaker will need to raise its 2012 savings target of 1 billion euros ($1.24 billion), according to Franck Don, a CFTC union representative.Peugeot plummeted as much as 59 cents, or 7.7 per cent, to 7.08 euros and was down 6.5 per cent to 7.17 euros as of 10:10 a.m. in Paris trading. The stock has plunged 74 per cent in the last year, valuing the carmaker at 2.55 billion euros.
The government should in return demand a stake in the carmaker, Bonnin told La Tribune. Bonnin met advisers to France’s Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg at the Chartre de Bretagne factory last Tuesday, the French newpaper said.
The carmaker’s European market share narrowed to 13 per cent from 14 per cent a year earlier, the manufacturer said today. Peugeot’s deliveries to other regions rose to 39 per cent of the company’s total in the first half from 38 per cent a year earlier.
Chinese sales grew 7.2 per cent to 209,000 vehicles, helped by “strong” demand for the Peugeot 308 and Citroen C4 family cars. In Latin America, Peugeot posted a 21 per cent drop as a higher Brazilian sales tax and slowing economy hurt sales.